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VOL. 1. 







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DR. WlLHELM and Fr. Scannell have conferred upon the 
faithful in England a signal boon in publishing Scheeben's 
scientific Dogmatik in English, and condensing it for careful 
and conscientious study. 

St. Anselm, in his work, "Cur Deus Homo?" says, "As 
the right order requires that we should first believe the 
deep things of the Christian faith before we presume to 
discuss them by reason, so it seems to me to be negligence 
if, after we are confirmed in the faith, we do not study to 
understand what we believe." * 

The Dogmatik of Scheeben is a profuse exposition of 
the deep things of faith in the light of intelligence guided 
by the illumination of the Church. Although, as Gregory 
of Valentia teaches, in accordance with the Catholic 
schools, that Theology is not a science proprie dicta, 
because it cannot be resolved into first principles that are 
self-evident, nevertheless it is higher than all sciences, 
because it can be resolved into the science of God and of 
the Blessed, known to us by revelation and faith. 

Theology may for that cause be called wisdom, which 

is higher than all science, and also it may be called science 

for many reasons. First, because, if it be not a science as 

to its principles, it is so as to its form, method, process, 

1 Lib. i. c. 2. 

vi Preface. 

development, and transmission ; and because, if its principles 
are not evident, they are in all the higher regions of it 
infallibly certain ; and because many of them are necessary 
and eternal truths. 

Revelation, then, contemplated and transmitted in 
exactness and method, may be called a science and the 
queen of sciences, the chief of the hierarchy of truth ; and 
it enters and takes the first place in the intellectual system 
and tradition of the world. It possesses all the qualities 
and conditions of science so far as its subject-matter 
admits ; namely, certainty as against doubt, definiteness 
as against vagueness, harmony as against discordance, 
unity as against incoherence, progress as against dissolu- 
tion and stagnation. 

A knowledge and belief of the existence of God has 
never been extinguished in the reason of mankind. The 
polytheisms and idolatries which surrounded it were cor- 
ruptions of a central and dominant truth, which, although 
obscured, was never lost. And the tradition of this truth 
was identified with the higher and purer operations of the 
natural reason, which have been called the intellectual 
system of the world. The mass of mankind, howsoever 
debased, were always theists. Atheists were anomalies 
and exceptions, as the blind among men. The theism of 
the primaeval revelation formed the intellectual system of 
the heathen world. The theism of the patriarchal revela- 
tion formed the intellectual system of the Hebrew race. 
The theism revealed in the incarnation of God has formed 
the intellectual system of the Christian world. " Sapientia 
aedificavit sibi domum." The science or knowledge of 
God has built for itself a tabernacle in the intellect of 
mankind, inhabits it, and abides in it The intellectual 
science of the world finds its perfection in the scientific 
expression of the theology of faith. But from first to 
last the reason of man is the disciple, not the critic, of the 

Preface. vii 

revelation of God : and the highest science of the human 
intellect is that which, taking its preamble from the light 
of nature, begins in faith ; and receiving its axioms from 
faith, expands by the procession of truth from truth. 

The great value of Scheeben's work is in its scientific 
method, its terminology, definitions, procedure, and unity. 
It requires not only reading but study ; and study with 
patient care and conscientious desire to understand. 
Readers overrun truths which they have not mastered. 
Students leave nothing behind them until it is understood. 
This work needs such a conscientious treatment from 
those who take it in hand. 

Valuable as it is in all its parts, the most valuable may 
be said to be the First Book, on the Sources of Theolo- 
gical Knowledge, and the Second Book, on God in 
Unity and Trinity. Any one who has mastered this 
second book has reached the Head of the River of the 
Water of Life. 

Of all the superstitious and senseless mockeries, and 
they were many, with which the world wagged its head 
at the Vatican Council, none was more profoundly foolish 
than the gibe that in the nineteenth century a Council has 
been solemnly called to declare the existence of God. In 
fact, it is this truth that the nineteenth century needs most 
of all. For as St. Jerome says, " Homo sine cognitione 
Dei, pecus." But what the Council did eventually declare 
is, not the existence of God, but that the existence of God 
may be known with certitude by the reason of man through 
the works that He has created. This is the infallible light 
of the Natural Order, and the need of this definition is per- 
ceived by all who know the later Philosophies of Germany 
and France, and the rationalism, scepticism, and natural- 
ism which pervades the literature, the public opinion, and 
the political action of the modern world. This was the 
first dominant error of these days, demanding the action 


viii Preface. 

of the Council. The second was the insidious undermining 
of the doctrinal authority of the Holy See, which for two 
hundred years had embarrassed the teaching of the Church, 
not only in controversy with adversaries without, but often 
in the guidance of some of its own members within the 
fold. The definition of the Infallible Magisterium of 
the Roman Pontiff has closed this period of contention 
The Divine certitude of the Supernatural Order completes 
the twofold infallibility of the knowledge of God in the 
natural and supernatural revelation of Himself. This was 
the work of the Vatican Council in its one memorable 
Session, in which the Councils of the Church, and espe- 
cially the Councils of Florence and of Trent, culminated 
in defining the certitude of faith. 

Scheeben has fully and luminously exhibited the mind 
of the Vatican Council in his First and Second Books. 

Cardinal A rc/ibis/iof>. 
EPIPHANY, 1890. 





I. Definition and Division of Theology .. .. .. .. xvii 

II. A Short Sketch of the History of Theology . . . . . . xviii 

III. The Special Task of Theology at the Present Time The Plan 
of tliis Manual ...... .... 1 






I. Notion of Revelation Three Degrees of Revelation .. .. 3 

2. The Nature and Subject-matter of Natural Revelation . . . . 4 

3. The Object and Necessity of a Positive Revelation Its Super- 
natural Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 

4. The Subject-matter of Supernatural Revelation Mysteries . . 8 

5. The Province of Revelation .. .. .. .. .. .. n 

6. Progress of Revelation .. .. .. .. .. .. 13 


7. The Protestant Theory and the Catholic Theory concerning the 

ft] ode of transmitting and enforcing Revelation .. .. IO 

8. Further Explanation of the Catholic Theory . . . . . . 18 

9. Demonstration of the Catholic Theory . . . . . . . . 20 


10. Organization of the Teaching Apostolate Its Relations with the 
Two Powers and the Two Hierarchical Orders instituted by Christ . . 32 

II. Organization of the Apostolate (continued) Organization of the 
Teaching Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 

12. Organization of the Apostolate (continued) The Auxiliary 
Members of the Teaching Body . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 

13. Organization of the Apostolate (continued) Organic Union 
between the Teaching Body and the Body of the Faithful . . . . 43 

14. Organization of the Apostolate (concluded) External and 
Internal Indefectibility of Doctrine and Faith in the Church Recapitu- 
lation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 

15. Gradual Progress in the Transmission of Revelation Apostolic 
Deposit : Ecclesiastical Tradition : Rule of Faith . . . . . . 47 


16. Holy Scripture the Written Word of God . . 50 

17. Holy Scripture as a Source of Theological Knowledge . . 56 

18. The False and Self-contradictory Position of Holy Scripture in 

the Protestant System .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 58 

19. The Position and Functions of Holy Scripture in the Catholic 

System 61 

20. Decisions of the Church on the Text and Interpretation of Holy 

Scripture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 

21. The Oral Apostolic Deposit Tradition, in the Narrower Sense 

of the Word 66 


22. Origin and Growth of Ecclesiastical Tradition .. .. .. 71 

23. The Various Modes in which Traditional Testimony is given in 

the Church 73 

24. Documentary Tradition, the Expression of the Living Tradition 76 
25. Rules for demonstrating Revealed Truth from Ecclesiastical 

Tradition .. .. 77 

26. The Writings of the Fathers 79 

27. The Writings of Theologians .. .. .. .. .. 81 


28. The Rule of Faith considered generally ; and also specially in 

its Active Sense 85 

29. Dogmas and Matters of Opinion 88 

30. Definitions and Judicial Decisions considered generally . . 91 

31. Papal Judgments and their Infallibility 94 

32. General Councils . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 

33. The Roman Congregations Local or Particular Councils .. lot 

34. Dogmatic Censures . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 

35. Development of Dogma . . . . . . . . . . 105 

36. The Chiei Dogmatic Documents Creeds and Decrees . . 108 

Contents. xi 





37. Etymology of the various words used for Faith The true 
Notion of Faith .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. ..112 

38. Nature of Theological Faith 115 

39. The Formal Object or Motive of Faith 118 

40. The Subject-matter of Faith . . 1 19 

41. The Motives of Credibility .. .. .. .. .. .. 122 

42. Faith and Grace .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 128 

43. Man's Co-operation in the Act of Faith Faith a Free Act . . 131 
44. The Supreme Certitude of Faith .. .. .. ' .. ..132 

45. Necessity of Faith 135 


46. Doctrine of the Vatican Council on the Understanding of Faith 138 
47. Theological Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 

48. Scientific Character of Theology . . . . . . . . . . 141 

49. The Rank of Theology among the Sciences . . . . . . 142 

50. The three great branches of Theology : Fundamental, Positive, 
and Speculative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 

51. Relation between Reason and Faith .. .. .. ..146 

52. Theology as a Sacred Science .. .. .. .. ..150 

53. Progress of Theological Science .. .. .- , . .. 151 






A. Natural Knowledge of God. 

54. Natural Knowledge of God considered generally .. .. 158 

55. The Demonstration of the Existence of (JoJ .. .. .. 161 

56. Our Conception of the Divine Essence and the Divine Attributes 164 

57. Contents and Limits of our Natural Knowledge of God .. 168 

B. Supernatural Knowledge of God. 

58. Revealed Names of God 169 

59. The Doctrine concerning God as defined by the Church, 
especially in the Vatican Council .. -- .. .. .. .. I7S 

xii Contents. 




60. Fundamental Conception of God's Essence and Nature .. 175 

61. The Perfection of the Divine Being . . . . .. .. 177 

62. Our Conception of the Divine Attributes Classification .. 179 


63. The Simplicity of God 182 

64. The Infinity of God 185 

65. The Immutability of God 188 

66. The Inconfusibility of God 191 

67. The Immensity of God 193 

68. The Eternity of God 195 

69. The Invisibility of God 197 

70. The Incomprehensibility of God . . . . . . . . . 200 

71. The Ineffability of God 201 


A. Internal Attributes. 

72. The Unity of God 203 

73. God, the Objective Truth 204 

74. God, the Objective Goodness 205 

75. God, the Absolute Beauty 206 

B. External Attributes. 

76. The Omnipotence of God 208 

77. The Omnipresence of God .. .. .. .. ..211 


78. The Divine Life in general Its Absolute Perfection .. .. 214 

79. The Divine Knowledge in general. . .. .. .. .. 215 

80. God's Knowledge of the Free Actions of His Creatures . . 219 
81. The Divine Wisdom in relation to its External Activity The 

Divine Ideas . . . . 22 5 

82. The Nature and Attributes of the Divine Will considered 

frenerally . . ' 22 7 

83. The Absolute Freedom of God's Will 230 

84. The Affections (Affectus} of the Divine Will, especially Love . . 233 

85. The Moral Perfection of the Divine Will . . . . . 238 

86. The Justice of God . , 2 4i 

87. God's Mercy and Veracity . . 246 

88. Efficacy of the Divine Will Its Dominion over Created Wills 248 
89. The Divine Will as Living Goodness and Holiness God the 

Substantial Holiness 2 53 

90. The Beatitude and Glory of the Divine Life 254 

Contents* xiii 




gi. The Dogma of the Trinity as formulated by the Church .. 259 


92. The Trinity in the New Testament . . . . . . . . 265 

93. The Doctrine of the New Testament on God the Son . . . . 269 

94. The Doctrine of the New Testament on the Holy Ghost . . 277 

95. The Doctrine of the Old Testament on the Trinity . . . . 283 


96. The Ante-Nicene Tradition on the Divine Trinity and Unity . . 287 

97. The Consubstantiality of the Son defined by the Council of 
Nicsea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 

98. The Tradition of East and West on the Consubstantiality of the 
Holy Ghost with the Father and the Son 294 

99. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Divine Hypostases and 
Persons Definition of Hypostasis and Person as applied to God . . 308 

100. The Distinction of the Divine Persons in particular, and their 
Distinctive Marks .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 312 


lor. The Origins in God resulting from the Fecundity of the Divine 
Life as Absolute Wisdom .. .. .. .. .. .. ..316 

102. The Productions in God are True Productions of an Inner Mani- 
festation (i) of the Divine Knowledge through Word and Image; and 
(2) of the Divine Love through Aspiration, Pledge, and Gift .. . . 320 

103. The Perfect Immanence of the Divine Productions ; the Sub- 
stantiality of their Products as Internal Expression of the Substantial 
Truth and Internal Effusion of the Substantial Sanctity . . . . 323 

104. The Divine Productions as Communications of Essence and 
Nature ; the Divine Products as Hypostases or Persons . . . . 325 

105. The Special Names of the Divine Productions as Communica- 
tions of Life in analogy with Generation and Spiration in the Animal 
Kingdom The Personal Names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost The 
Economy (olxovo^la.) of the Divine Persons . . . . . . . . 331 

106. Complete Unity of the Produced Persons with their Principle, 
resulting from their Immanent Origin : Similarity, Equality, Identity, 
Inseparability, and Co-inherence (irepix&>p7j<m) . . . . . . . . 33^ 

107. The Appropriation of the Common Names, Attributes, and 
Operations to Particular Persons . . . . . . . . . . . . 340 

108. The Temporal Mission of the Divine Persons . . . . . . 343 

109. The Trinity a Mystery but not a Contradiction. . . . . . 349 

1 10. The Position and Importance of the Mystery of the Trinity in 
Revelation .. ,. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..351 

xiv Contents. 





i ii. The Origin of all Things by Creation out of Nothing . . . . 358 

112. Simultaneous Beginning of the World and of Time .. .. 361 

113. God the Conservator of all Things .. .. .. .. 363 

1 14. God the Principle of all Created Action . . . . . . . . 365 


115. Essential Relation of Creatures to God as the Final Object of 

their Being, Activity, and Tendencies 369 

116. The Providence of God .. .. .. . .. .. 372 

117. The World the Realization of the Divine Ideal. . .. .. 374 


118. The Nature, Existence, and Origin of the Angels .. .. 376 

119. Attributes of the Angels Incorruptibility and Relation to Space 378 

120. The Natural Life and Work of the Angels .. .. .. 379 

121. Number and Hierarchy of the Angels .. .. .. .. 382 


122. Theological Doctrines concerning the Material World generally 383 
123. The Doctrinal Portions of the Mosaic Hexahemeron .. .. 384 


124. Interpretation of Gen. i. 26: "Let Us make man to Our 

image and likeness "..'.. . . . . . . . . . . . 389 

125. Man the Image of God .. .. .. .. .. .. 392 

126. The Likeness to God in Man and Woman . . .. . . 395 

127. Essential Constitution of Man . . . . . . . . . . 397 

128. Production of the First Woman The Essence of Marriage .. 400 

129. Reproduction of Human Nature .. .. .. .. .. 404 

130. Descent of all Mankind from One Pair of Progenitors, and the 

consequent Unity of the Human Race . . . . , . . . . . 410 

131. Division and Order of the Vital Forces in Man. . . . . . 412 

132. The Spiritual -Side of Human Nature . . . . . . . . 413 

133. The Animal Side of Human Nature . . . . . . . . 418 

134. The Natural Imperfections, or the Animal Character of the 

Spiritual Life {ratio inferior} in Man, and its Consequences . . . . 421 
135. Natural Destiny of Rational Creatures Their Position in the 

Universe .. .. . 4 2 S 

Contents. xv 





136. Notion of the Supernatural and of Supernature . . . . 430 

137. General Notion of Divine Grace . . . . . . . . . . 434 

138. The Chief Errors concerning the Supernatural .. .. .. 437 


139. Doctrine of Holy Scripture on the Supernatural Communion 
with God, considered especially as Communion by Adoptive Sonship . . 443 

140. The Teaching of Tradition on Supernatural Union with God : 
especially on the " Deification " of the Creature . . . . . . . . 452 

141. Eternal Life in the Beatific Vision . . . . . . . . 456 

142. The Supernatural in our Life on Earth (in statu vice) . . . . 459 

143. The Elevating Grace necessary for Salutary Acts . . . . 463 

144. Elevating Grace considered as a Supernatural Habit of the 
Mental Faculties The Theological Virtues . . . . . . . . 465 

145. The State of Grace the Nobility of the Children of God . . 468 
146. The State of Grace (continued) The Holy Ghost the Sub- 
stantial Complement of Accidental Grace .. .. .. .. .. 472 

147. The State of Grace (concluded) Its Character of New 
Creation Grace and Free Will . . . . . . . . . . . . 479 

148. Relation of Nature and Natural Free Will to Grace The 
" Obediential " Faculty The Absolute Gratuity of Grace . . . . 483 

149. Relation of Nature to Grace (continued) The Process by 
which Nature is raised to the State of Grace . . . . . . . . 486 

150. Nature's Vocation to Grace by a Law of the Creator . . . . 490 

151. Function of the Supernatural Order in the Divine Plan of the 
Universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 493 


152. The Supernatural Endowment of Man's Nature as distinct from 
the Angels .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 496 



153. The Supernatural in the Angelic World. . .. .. .. 501 

154. The Supernatural in Mankind .. .. .. .. ,. 505 



S. Ambr. in Ps. xxxviil. 



I. THE word " Theology" means the Science of God. This Definition, 
science has God not only for its subject, but also for its 
source and its object ; hence the Divine character of 
Theology cannot better be described than by the old 
formula : " Theology teaches about God, is taught by God, 
and leads to God." 1 Theology may be taken objectively 
as doctrine, or subjectively as knowledge. But it is not 
every knowledge of Divine doctrine, especially not the 
mere apprehension of it, that is called Theology. The 
term is restricted to scientific knowledge ; and conse- 
quently Theology, in its technical sense, is the scientific 
exposition of the doctrine concerning God and things 

The knowledge of God which can be obtained by 
means of Revelation is called Revealed Theology, in 
contra-distinction to Natural Theology, which depends 
on human reason alone. The " Natural Theology " of 
Paley and other English writers that is, the knowledge 
of God obtainable by the study of Nature is a branch of 
this more extensive Natural Theology. 

II. Theology is usually divided into Dogmatic and xhlob" ' 
Moral Theology. The former treats of dogmas that is, 
rules of belief, and is of a speculative character, while the 
latter deals with rules of conduct, and is practical. In 
this work we deal with Dogmatic Theology. 

Theology may also be divided according to its various 
functions. When it demonstrates and defends the grounds 

1 " Theologia Deum docet, a Deo docetur, et ad Deum ducit." 

x vi i I Introduction. 

of belief, it is called General or Fundamental Theology. 
This is more properly a vestibule or outwork of Theology, 
and may be considered as Applied Philosophy. It is 
also called the Treatise on the True Religion (Tractatus de 
Vera Religions), and sometimes Apologetics, because of its 
defensive character. When Theology expounds and co- 
ordinates the dogmas themselves, and demonstrates them 
from Scripture and Tradition, it takes the name of Positive 
Theology. When it takes the dogmas for granted, and 
penetrates into their nature and discovers their principles 
and consequences, it is designated Speculative Theology, 
and sometimes Scholastic Theology, because it is chiefly 
the work of the Schoolmen, and also because, on account 
of its abstruseness, it can only be acquired by scholars. 
Positive Theology and Speculative Theology cannot be 
completely separated. Hence the theological works of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were entitled Theo- 
logia Positivo-Sckolastica, or Dogmatico-Scholastica. The 
present work likewise possesses this two-fold character. 

A fuller account of these various distinctions will be 
found in the concluding sections of Book I. 


The history of Theology may be divided into three 
epochs, which coincide with the great epochs of the history 
of the Church : 

A. The Ancient or Patristic Epoch ; 

B. The Mediaeval or Scholastic Epoch ; 

C The Modern Epoch. 

Each of these has as its centre one of the great Coun- 
cils of the Church, Patristic Theology being/ grouped round 
the Council of Nicaea, Mediaeval Theology round the 
Fourth Lateran Council, and Modern Theology round 
the Council^oT Trent. In each epoch also the growth of 
Theology has followed a similar course. A period of pre- 
paration has led up to the Council, which has been followed 
by a period of prosperity, and this in turn has given place 
to a period of decay. During the Patristic Epoch, Theo- 

Introduction. xix 

logy was engaged in studying Holy Scripture, in consoli- 
dating Tradition, and in defending the chief doctrines of 
Christianity against paganism and heresy, and was cul- 
tivated principally by the official representatives of Tra- 
dition, the Bishops. The foundation having thus been 
securely laid, the work of the Mediaeval theologians was to 
develop and systematize what had been handed down 
to them ; and this work was carried on almost entirely in 
the cloisters and universities. Finally, Modern Theology 
has taken up the work of both of the foregoing epochs 
by defending the fundamental dogmas of Religion against 
modern agnostics and heretics, and at the same time care- 
fully attending to the development of doctrine within the 

A. The Patristic Epoch. 

Theology was not treated by the Fathers as one organic The 
whole. They first enunciated Tradition and then inter- IheVuL'J*. 
preted Scripture. In this way, particular dogmas were 
often explained and proved at considerable length. Some 
approach to systematic treatment may, indeed, be found 
in their catechetical works ; but the greater part of the 
Patristic writings, besides the commentaries on Holy 
Scripture, consists of treatises written against the different 
heresies of the day, and thus, without directly constructing 
a system, the Fathers provided ample materials in almost 
every department of theology. The struggle against 
Paganism and Manichaeism gave rise to treatises on God, 
man, and creation ; the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity 
was proved against the Arians and Macedonians ; the 
Incarnation against the Nestorians and Eutychians ; Grace 
and Sin were discussed with the Pelagians ; the schism 
of the Donatists brought out the doctrine concerning the / 
Constitution of the Church. 

In the East the Fathers were occupied chiefly in dis- Eastern and 
cussing speculative questions, such as the Blessed Trinity xh^ofo^y 
and Incarnation, while the Western Church directed its compa " 
attention more to the practical questions of Sin and Re- 
demption, Grace and Free Will, and the Constitution of 
the Church. The Easterns, moreover, excelled both in 

xx Introduction. 

exactness of method and sublimity of expression. This 
difference in method and choice of subjects was due chiefly 
to the fact that Theology was treated in the East by men 
trained in Greek metaphysics, whereas in the West it was 
treated by men trained in Roman Law. Greek meta- 
physics supplied ideas and expressions capable of con- 
veying some notion of the Divine Substance, the Divine 
Persons, and the Divine Nature. On the other hand, the 
nature of Sin and its transmission by inheritance, the debt 
owed by man and satisfied by Jesus Christ, were worked 
out on the lines of the Roman theory of obligations arising 
out of Contract or Delict, the Roman view of Debts, and 
the modes of incurring, extinguishing, and transmitting 
them, and the Roman notion of the continuance of individual 
existence by universal succession. 1 
Greek The Greek Fathers most highly esteemed for their 


dogmatic writings are : The chiefs of the Catechetical 
School at Alexandria, Clement, Origen, and Didymus, 
from whom the subsequent writers drew their inspiration ; 
Athanasius ; the three great Cappadocians, Gregory of 
Nazianzum, Basil, and Gregory of Nyssa ; Cyril of 
Alexandria, Leontius of Byzantium, Pseudo-Dionysius the 
Latin Areopagite, and lastly, John Damascene. In the West may 
be mentioned Tertullian, Ambrose, Leo, Hilary of Poictiers, 
Fulgentius, and the great St. Augustine. The works of the 
last-named form a sort of encyclopaedia of theological lite- 
rature. The early Schoolmen, such as Hugh of St. Victor, 
did little more than develop and systematize the material 
supplied by him. After a time the influence of the Greek 
Fathers began to be felt, especially in the doctrine of Grace, 
and hence, long afterwards, the Jansenists accused both 
the Schoolmen and the Greek Fathers of having fallen 
into Pelagianism. 2 

1 Maine, Ancient Law, p. 355. 

2 A complete account of the writings of the Fathers does not fall within 
our present scope. For further information, see Bardenhewer, Les Peres de 
FEglise. The original is in German, but the French edition is better. And 
Cardinal Newman's Church of the Fathers, Historical Sketches, St. Athanasius, 
and The Arians of the Fourth Century. 

Introduction. xxi 

B. The Mediczval or Scholastic Epoch. 

During the so-called Dark Ages, Theology was culti- The Dark 
vated chiefly in the cathedral and monastic schools. It ges " 
was for the most part merely a reproduction of what had 
been handed down by the Fathers. The most valuable 
writings of these ages are : Venerable Bede's commentaries 
on Holy Scripture ; Paschasius Radbert's treatises on the 
Holy Eucharist, and those directed against Berengarius 
by Lanfranc and Guitmundus. Scotus Erigena created 
a sort of theological system in his celebrated work De 
Divisione Natiirce, but he can in no way be looked upon as 
the Father of Scholasticism, as he is sometimes styled in 
modern times ; in fact, the Schoolmen completely ignore 

I. The title of Father of Scholasticism rightly belongs The Pre- 

to St. Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109). He did not indeed Period? 

i /-lit 111-1 1080-1230. 

supply a complete treatment of theology, but he dealt with 

the most important and difficult dogmas in such a way 
that it became easy to reduce them to a system. " Faith 
seeking understanding" was his motto. It was his severe 
and strictly logical method which set the fashion to those 
who came after him. His Monologium treats of God as one 
in Nature, and three in Persons ; the Proslogium further 
develops the treatment of the unity of God, while the 
treatise De Processione Spirittis Sancti adversus Grcecos 
develops his teaching on the Trinity ; De Casu Diaboli and 
De Conceptu Virginali et Originali Peccato deal with sin ; 
Cttr Deus Homo contains his celebrated theory of Redemp- 
tion. He also wrote on Grace and Free Will : De Libero 
A rbitrio and De Concordia Prczscientice et Prcedestinationis 
nee non Gratia Dei cum Libero Arbitrio. 

The rationalistic tendencies of Abelard were successfully 
combated by St. Bernard (1153), Hugh of St. Victor 
(Summa Sententiarum and De Sacramentis Fidei), and 
Robert Pulleyn. Peter Lombard (Archbishop of Paris, Peter 
1 104) was the author of the great mediaeval text-book, Lc 
Sententiarum libri qiiattiwr, in which the materials supplied 
by the Fathers are worked up into a complete system of 
Theology. William of A.\i'x.QnQ(Altissiodorensis^ t Richard 

xxii Introdiiclion. 

of St. Victor, Alanus of Lille, and William of Paris, form 
the transition from the preparatory period to the period 
of prosperity. 

The II. During the early years of the thirteenth century 

Period, the foundation of the two great Mendicant Orders by St. 
Francis and St. Dominic, and the struggles with the Ara- 
bico-aristotelian philosophy introduced into the west by 
the Spanish Moors, gave astonishing impetus to theological 
studies. Theology embraced a larger field, and at the same 
time became more systematic. Greek philosophy drew at- 
tention to the Greek Fathers, who began to exercise greater 
influence. Aristotle's logic had already found its way into 
the schools ; now his metaphysics, psychology, and ethics 
became the basis of Christian teaching. As might be ex- 
pected from such studies, the great doctors of this period are 
characterized by clear statement of the question at issue, 
continual adoption of the syllogistic form of argumentation, 
frequent and subtle use of distinctions, and plain unvar- 
nished style of language which is not, however, without a 
charm of its own. They sometimes treated of theology in 
commentaries on Holy Scripture, but their usual text- 
book was the Sentences of the Lombard. They also wrote 
monographs on various questions, called Quodlibeta or 
Qucestiones Disputatce. Some doctors composed original 
systematic works on the whole domain of theology, called 
Summcs TJieologicce, most of which, however, remain in a 
schoiasti- more or less unfinished state. These Summce have often 

cism and 

Gothic ar - been likened to the great Gothic cathedrals of this same 

chitecture. n i i -TM 

age, and the parallel is indeed most striking. 1 he opening 
years of the thirteenth century mark the transition from 
the Roman (or, as we call it, Norman) style to the Gothic 
or pointed style, and also from the Patristic to the Scholastic 
method. The period of perfection in both Scholasticism 
and Gothic architecture also extends from 1230 to the 
beginning of the fourteenth century. 1 The Mendicant 
Orders were the chief promoters of both. The style of the 
Schoolmen is totally wanting in the brilliant eloquence so 
often found in the Fathers. They split up their subject 

1 These dates apply to continental architecture ; the flourishing period of 
Scholasticism and architecture ia linyland was the fourteenth century. 

Introduction. xxiii 

into numberless questions and subdivide these again, at 
the same time binding them all together to form one well- 
ordered whole, and directing them all to the final end of 
man. In like manner the mediaeval architects, discarding 
the use of all gorgeous colouring, elaborate the bare stone 
into countless pinnacles and mullions and clusters, all of 
them composing together one great building, and all of 
them pointing to Heaven. And just as in after ages a 
Fene'lon could call Gothic architecture a barbarous inven- 
tion of the Arabs ; so there have been learned men who 
have looked upon Scholasticism as subtle trifling. But it 
is noteworthy that in our own day Scholasticism and 
Gothic architecture have again come into honour. As the 
German poet Geibel says : 

" Great works they wrought, fair fanes they raised, wherein the mighty sleep, 
While we, a race of pigmies, about their tombs now creep." 

This flourishing period of Scholasticism opens with the Alexander of 
great names of Alexander of Hales (Doctor irrefragabilis) 
and Blessed Albert the Great. The former was an Eng- 
lishman, but taught theology in the University of Paris. 
He composed the first, and at the same time, the largest 
Summa Theologica, which was partly drawn from his earlier 
commentary on the Lombard, and to which his disciples, 
after his death, probably made additions from the same 
source. It is remarkable for breadth, originality, depth, 
and sublimity. If it yields the palm to the Summa of 
St. Thomas, still St. Thomas doubtless had it before him in 
composing his own work. But Alexander's chief influence 
was exercised on the Franciscan Order which he joined in 
1225. To this day he is the type of the genuine Franciscan 
school, for his disciple, St. Bonaventure, wrote, no Summa, 
while the Scotist school was critical rather than construc- 
tive. His works deserve greater attention than they have 
received. He died about 1245. St. Bonaventure, the St. Bona- 
" Seraphic Doctor," (1221-1274) did not actually sit under ve 
Alexander, but is nevertheless his true heir and follower. 
His mystical spirit unfitted him for subtle analysis, but in 
originality he surpassed St. Thomas himself. He wrote 
only one great work, a Commentary on the Sentences, but 
his powers are seen at their best in his Breviloquium t 


xxiv Introduction. 

which is a condensed Summa containing the quintessence 
of the theology of his age. Whilst the Breviloquium derives 
all things from God, his Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum 
proceeds in the opposite direction, bringing all things back 
to their Supreme End. In another work, the Centiloquium, 
he sketched out a new book of Sentences, containing a rich 
collection of passages from the Fathers, but in a strange 
though ingenious order. 1 

Albert the The Dominican school was founded by Albert the 

Great (1193-1280). His chief glory is that he introduced 
the study of Aristotle into the Christian schools, and that 
he was the master of St .Thomas Aquinas. His numerous 
works fill twenty-one folio volumes (Lyons, 1651). They 
consist of commentaries on the Gospels and the Prophets, 
homilies, ascetical writings, and commentaries on the 
Areopagite, on Aristotle, and on the Sentences. His Summa 
Theologica, of which the four intended parts were to corre- 
spond with the four books of the Lombard, was written in 
his advanced old age, after St. Thomas's Summa, and goes 
no further than the end of the second part. He also com- 
posed a so-called Summa de Creaturis, partly answering to 
the Summa contra Gentiles of St. Thomas, and, like it, more 
philosophical than theological. 2 

St. Thomas St. Thomas Aquinas, the "Angelical Doctor" (1225- 

Aquinas. niii-ri* 

1274), towers over all the theologians of his own or of any 
other age. He is unsurpassed in knowledge of Holy 
Scripture, the Fathers, and Aristotle, in the depth and 
clearness of his ideas, in perfection of method and expression, 
and in the variety and extent of his labours. He wrote on 
every subject treated by the Schoolmen, and in every form : 
on physics, ethics, metaphysics, psychology ; on apologetic, 
dogmatic, moral and ascetical theology ; in commentaries 
on Holy Scripture, on Aristotle, on the Areopagite and the 
Lombard ; in monographs, compendia, and in two Summce. 
His chief dogmatic writings are the following : 

I. The Commentary on the Sentences written in his early 

1 An excellent edition of his works has lately been published at Quaracchi 
(ad Aquas Claras). 

3 See Dr. Sighart's Life of Albert the Great, of which there is an English 
translation published by Washbourne. 

Introduction. xxv 

years, and expressing many opinions subsequently rejected 
by him. 

2. The so-called Questiones Disputatce, a rich collection 
of monographs, on the most important subjects of the 
whole province of theology, which St. Thomas here treats 
more fully than in his other writings. Written as occasion 
required, they have been grouped in a somewhat confusing 
way under the titles De Potentia, DeMalo, De Spiritiialibus 
Creaturis De Virtutibns and De Veritate. A better arrange- 
ment would be under the three headings: DeEnteet Potentia, 
De Veritate et Cognitione, De Bono et Appetitu Boni. We 
should then possess a fairly complete system of theologico- 
philosophical Ontology, Psychology and Ethics. 1 

3. The Summa contra Gentiles is for the most part 
philosophical, but it contains only such philosophical sub- 
jects as bear on theology. It is divided into four books : 
the first two treat of the Essence and Nature of God and 
of creatures ; the third treats of the movement of creatures 
to their end in God, and of supernatural Providence ; the 
fourth book deals with the various mysteries which bear 
on the union of creatures with God. The method of ex- 
position is not dialectical but positive. An excellent com- 
mentary on this work appeared towards the end of the 
fifteenth century, written by Francis of Ferrara. An 
English translation, by Fr. Joseph Rickaby, S.J., has just 
been published (1905). 

4. But the Saint's masterpiece is his Summa 

, 1.1 i <~ i IT 11 Tksoiefic*. 

composed towards the end or his lite and never completed. 
It contains his mature opinions on almost the entire pro- 
vince of theology. It is divided into three great parts, the 
second of which is subdivided into two parts, termed re- 
spectively, Prima Secundce and Secunda Secundce. Each 
part is divided into " questions " and these again into 
" articles." 

Part I. treats of God as He is in Himself and as the 
Principle of all things : 

A. Of God Himself: 

(a) His Being (qq. 2-13); 

See Werner, Thomas of Aquin, i., pp. 360-386 (in German). 

xxvi Introduction. 

(ft) His internal activity (14-26) ; 

(c) His internal fruitfulness in the Trinity (27-43). 

B. Of God as Cause of all things : 
(a) His causal relation to them : 
(a) Generally (44-49) ; 
(/3) Specially : 

(1) Angels (50-64) ; 

(2) The material world (65-74) ; 

(3) Man (75-102). 

(#) The government of creatures and their share in 
the course of the universe (103-119). 

Part II. treats of the motion of rational creatures 
towards God : 

A. Generally (Prima Secundce] : 

(a) The end or object of their motion (1-6) ; 
() Human acts (7-48); 
(c) Habits, Virtue and Vice (48-89) ; 
(d} The influence of God on their motion by means 
of Law and Grace (90-114). 

B. Specially (Secunda Secundce) : 

(a) The Theological (1-47) and Moral Virtues (48- 

(b} Various classes of persons : 

(a) Those gifted with extraordinary Graces 


Q3) Those who have devoted themselves to 
the active or contemplative life (179- 

(y) Those found in different occupations 

Part III. treats of God's action in drawing man to 

A. Through Christ : 

(a) His Person (1-26) ; 

(fr) His life and works (27-59). 

B. By means of Christ's Sacraments (60-90). 

The first regular commentary on the Summa was com- 

Introduction. xxvii 

posed in the beginning of the sixteenth century by Cardinal 
Cajetan, and is still printed in the large editions of the 
Summa ; but it was not until the end of the sixteenth cen- 
tury that the Summa displaced the Sentences as the text- 
book in theological schools. The editions are too numerous 
to mention. Perhaps the most beautiful modern edition is 
that published by Fiaccadori (Verona) in quarto. 

5. The Compendium Theologies, sometimes called Opus- 
culum ad Reginaldttm, treats of theology in its relation to 
the three theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, just 
like our English Catechism. Only the first part was com- 
pleted, De Fide Trinitatis Creatricis, et Christi Reparantis ; 
the second part, connected with the Our Father, goes down 
to the second petition. The treatment is not uniform : the 
work seems to grow in the Saint's hands, and consequently 
some matters are here better treated than in the larger 
works. 1 

To this flourishing period belong the great apologetic 
works of the two Dominicans, Raymund Martini (died 1286), 
Pugio Fidei, and Moneta (d. about 1230), Summa contra 
Catharos et Waldenses ; the Summa of Henry of Ghent, 
(d. 1293) ; the magnificent Life of Jesus Christ, by Ludolph 
of Saxony ; the Postilla on Holy Scripture, by Nicholas of 
Lyra (Franciscan, d. 1340), corrected and completed by 
Paul of Burgos (d. 1433) ; the Rationale Divinoram 
Officiorum, by William Durandus (d. 1296), surnamed 
Speculator on account of his Speculum Juris ; the three 
great encyclopaedic Specula, by Vincent of Beauvais ; and 
the writings of the English Franciscan, Richard Middleton, 
who taught at Oxford (d. 1300), Commentary on the 
Sentences and various Quodlibeta. 

John Duns Scotus (1266-1308), the "Subtle Doctor," 
was a disciple of William Ware (Varro) at Oxford, who 
was himself the successor of William de la Marre, the first 

1 There is an edition by Rutland (Paderborn, 1867). On the various 
editions of the entire works of St. Thomas, see Werner, 1. 884. As we write 
(1898) nine volumes of the edition published by order of his Holiness Leo XIII. 
have already appeared, containing commentaries on Aristotle and the Summa. 
The great English work on the Angelic Doctor is Archbishop Roger Bede 
Vaughan's Life and Labours of St. Thomas of Aquin^ in two volumes 

xxviii Introduction. 

opponent of St. Thomas. 1 His extraordinary acuteness of 
mind led him rather to criticize than to develop the work 
of the thirteenth century. His stock of theological learn- 
ing was by no means large. He composed no commentary 
on Holy Scripture, which to his predecessors was always the 
preparation for and foundation of their speculative efforts, 
nor did he complete any systematic work. His subtlety, 
his desultory criticisms, and his abstruse style make him 
far more difficult reading than the earlier Schoolmen, and 
consequently he is seldom studied in the original text, 
even by his own school. His principal work is the great 
Oxford Commentary on the Sentences, Opus Oxoniense. 
Besides this, he wrote a later and much shorter commentary, 
Reportata Parisiensia, the Questiones Quodlibetales (corre- 
sponding with St. Thomas's Questiones Disputatce), and 
various smaller opuscula on metaphysics and the theory of 
knowledge. The handiest edition of the Opus Oxoniense is 
that of Hugh Cavellus, an Irish Franciscan in Louvain, and 
afterwards Archbishop of Armagh, who enriched the text 
with good explanatory scholia. 
Scotusand Scotus cannot be considered as the continuer of the old 

St. Thomas 

compared. Franciscan school, but rather as the founder of a new school 
which rightly bears his name. His excessive realism has a 
tendency quite opposed to the Platonism of the early mem- 
bers of his Order, and, indeed, agrees with Nominalism on 
many points. His stiff and dry style is very different from 
the ease and grace which charm us in St. Bonaventure. 
However, Scotus is the direct antagonist of St. Thomas, and 
it is in relation to him that the character of his mind stands 
out most clearly. St. Thomas is strictly organic ; Scotus 
is less so. St. Thomas, with all his fineness of distinction, 
does not tear asunder the different tissues, but keeps them 
in their natural, living connection ; Scotus, by the dis- 
secting process of his distinctions, loosens the organic 
connections of the tissues, without, however, destroying 
the bond of union, and thereby the life of the loosened 
parts, as the Nominalists did. In other words, to St. 

1 On Scotus see the excellent article by Dollinger in the Freiburg Kirchen 
Lexicon ; on Scotus's doctrine see Werner, Thomas of Aquin, III., p. 3, sqq. 
also Stockl, History of Mctlutval Philosophy (in German), p. 783. 

Introduction. xxix 

Thomas the universe is a perfect animal organism, wherein 
all the parts are held together in a most intimate union 
and relation by the soul ; whereas to Scotus it is only 
a vegetable organism, as he himself expresses it, whose 
different members spring from a common root, but branch 
out in different directions ; to the Nominalist, however, it 
is merely a mass of atoms arbitrarily heaped together. 
These general differences of mode of conception manifest 
themselves in almost all the particular differences of doc- 

III. About the beginning of the fourteenth century The Period 

of Decay 

the classical and creative period of mediaeval scholasticism 
came to a close. In the two following centuries no real 
progress was made. The acquisitions gained in the period 
of prosperity were reproduced and elaborated to meet the 
hypercritical and destructive attacks made at this time 
both on the teaching and the public action of the Church. 
Nominalism springing from, or at least occasioned by 
Scotism (partly as an exaggeration of its critical ten- 
dencies, partly as a reaction against its realism), destroyed 
the organic character of the revealed doctrines and wasted 
its energies in hair-splitting subtlety. Pierre Aureole 
(Aureolus, a Frenchman, d. 1321) led the way and was 
followed by the rebellious William of Occam (d. 1347), 
who was educated at Oxford and at Paris. Both of these 
were disciples of Scotus. Oxford now almost disputed Oxford 
the pre-eminence with Paris. St. Edmund of Canterbury 
(d. 1242) had introduced there the study of Aristotle, 
and his great follower was Roger Bacon, a Franciscan 
(d. 1292), the author of the Opus Majus, the true Novum 
Organum of science. The Oxford Friars, especially the 
Franciscans, attained a high reputation throughout Chris- 
tendom. Besides St. Edmund and Roger Bacon, the uni- 
versity claimed as her children Richard Middleton, William 
Ware, William de la Marre, Duns Scotus, Occam, Grosteste, 
Adam Marsh, Bungay, Burley, Archbishop Peckham, 
Bradwardine, Fitzralph, Archbishop of Armagh, Thomas 
Netter ( Waldensis), and the notorious Wyclif. 

Many of the theologians present at the councils of Con- 
stance and Basle, notably Pierre d'Ailly (Alliacensis, d. 1425), 

xxx Introduction. 

belonged to the Nominalist school. Its best representa- 
tives were Gregory of Rimini and Gabriel Biel. The 
Dominicans, with the exception of Durandus of St. Portiano 
(d. 1332), and Holkot (d. 1349), remained faithful to the 
Thomist traditions of the thirteenth century. Among 
their later writers may be mentioned St. Antoninus 
of Florence, John Capreolus, the powerful apologist of 
Thomism (Clypeus Thomistarum}, Torquemada, Cardinal 
Cajetan, the first commentator on the Summa, and Francis 
of Ferrara, the commentator on the Summa contra Gentes. 
The Franciscans were split up into several schools, some 
adhering to Nominalism, others to Scotism. Lychetus, 
the renowned commentator on Scotus, belongs to this 
period, as also do Dionysius Ryckel, the Carthusian, and 
Alphonsus Tostatus, Bishop of Avila. Thomas Brad- 
wardine, Archbishop of Canterbury (Doctor Profundus, 
1290-1349) was the most famous mathematician of his 
day. His principal work, De Causa Dei contra Pelagianos^ 
arranged mathematically, shows signs of great skilfulness 
of form, great depth and erudition, but gives a painful 
impression by its rigid doctrines. Some look upon him 
as one of the forerunners of Wyclif, an accusation which 
might with more justice be made against Fitzralph (d. 

I360)- 1 

Thomas Netter (d. 1431), provincial of the Carmelites 
and secretary to Henry V., composed two works against 
Wyclif, Doctrinale Antiquitatum Fidei Catholica adversus 
Wicliffitas et Hussitas and Fasciculus Zizaniorum Magistri 
Johannis Wyclif cum Tritico. Nicholas Cusa surpasses 
even Bradwardine in the application of mathematics to 

During this period of decay the ordinary treatment of 
theology consisted of commentaries on the Sentences and 


monographs on particular questions (Quodlibeta). The 
latter were, as a rule, controversial, treating the subjects 
from a Nominalist or Scotist point of view, while some 
few were valuable expositions and defences of the earlier 
teaching. The partial degeneracy of Scholasticism on the 

1 The orthodoxy of both is defended by Fr. Stevenson : The Truth about 
John Wyclif, p. 41, sqq. 

Introduction. xxxi 

one hand, and of Mysticism on the other, led to a divorce 
between the two, so that mystical writers broke off from 
Scholasticism, to their gain, no doubt, as far as Scholas- 
ticism had degenerated, but to their loss so far as it had 
remained sound. As Nominalism by its superficiality and 
arbitrariness had stripped the doctrines of grace and morals 
of their inward and living character, and had made grace 
merely an external ornament of the soul : so did false 
mysticism by its sentimentality destroy the supernatural 
character of grace and the organic connection and develop- 
ment of sound doctrine concerning morals ; and as both 
Nominalism and pseudo-mysticism endangered the right 
notion of the constitution of the Church, they may with 
reason be looked upon as the forerunners of the Reforma- 
tion of the sixteenth century. It does not fall within our 
province to speak of the anti-scholastic tendencies of the 
Renaissance which were found partly among the Platonists 
as opponents of Aristotle, and partly among the Humanists 
as opposed to what was considered " Scholastic barbarism." 
There was, as we have seen, some reason for a reaction 
against the degenerate philosophy and theology of the day. 
But instead of returning to the genuine teaching of the 
earlier period, the cultivators of the New Learning con- 
tented themselves with a vague Platonic mysticism or a 
sort of Nominalism disguised under a new and classical 

C. The Modern Epoch. 

About the end of the fifteenth century and the opening 
of the sixteenth, three events produced a new epoch in 
the history of theology, and determined its characteristic 
tendencies : the invention of printing, the revival of the 
study of the ancient classics, and the attacks of the 
Reformers on the whole historical position of the Church. 
These circumstances facilitated, and at the same time 
necessitated, more careful study of the biblical and his- 
torical side of theology, and thus prepared the way for a 
more comprehensive treatment of speculative theology. 
This new and splendid development had its seat in Spain, Spain. 

xxxii Introduction. 

the land least affected by the heretical movement. The 
Universities of Salamanca, Alcala (Complutum), and Coim- 
bra, now became famous for theological learning. Spanish 
theologians, partly by their labours at the Council of Trent 
(Dominic Soto, Peter Soto, and Vega), partly by their 
teaching in other countries (Maldonatus in Paris, Toletus 
in Italy, Gregory of Valentia in Germany), were its chief 
promoters and revivers. Next to Spain, the chief glory 
belongs to the University of Louvain, in the Netherlands, 
at that time under Spanish rule. On the other hand, the 
University of Paris, which had lost much of its ancient 
renown, did not regain its position until towards the end of 
the sixteenth century. Among the religious bodies the 
ancient Orders, the heirs of the theology of the thirteenth 
century, were indeed animated with a new spirit ; but all 
ihe society were surpassed by the newly founded Society of Jesus, 

of Jesus. 

whose members laboured most assiduously and successfully 
in every branch of theology, especially in exegesis and 
history, and strove to develop the mediaeval theology in an 
independent, eclectic spirit and in a form adapted to the 
age. The continuity with the theological teaching of the 
Middle Ages was preserved by the Jesuits and by most of 
the other schools, by their taking as a text-book the noblest 
product of the thirteenth century the Summa of St. 
Thomas, which was placed on the table of the Council 
of Trent next to the Holy Scriptures and the Corpus Juris 
Canonici as the most authentic expression of the mind of 
the Church. 

This modern epoch may be divided into four periods : 

I. The Preparatory Period, up to the end of the Council 
of Trent ; 

II. The Flourishing Period, from the Council of Trent 
to 1660 ; 

III. The Period of Decay to 1 760. 

Besides these three periods, which correspond with 
those of the Patristic and Mediaeval Epochs, there is 

IV. The Period of Degradation, lasting from 1760 till 

ThePre- aboutl83O 

^eri^ I- T ne Preparatory Period produced comparatively 

Introduction. xxxiii 

few works embracing the whole domain of theology, but 
its activity was proved in treatises and controversial 
writings, and its influence shown in the decrees of the 
Council of Trent and the Roman Catechism. 

The numerous controversialists of this period are well Controversy, 
known, and an account of their writings may be found in 
the Freiburg Kirchen-Lexicon. We may mention the follow- 
ing : in Germany, John Eck of Eichstatt, Frederick Nausea 
and James Noguera of Vienna, Berthold of Chiemsee, John 
Cochlceus in Nuremberg, Fred. Staphylus in Ingolstadt, 
James Hogstraeten, John Gropper and Albert Pighius in 
Cologne, Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius and Martin Cromer 
in Ermland, and, lastly, Blessed Peter Canisius ; in 
Belgium, Ruard Tapper, John Driedo, James Latomus, 
James Ravestein (Tiletanus\ and others ; in England, 
the martyrs Blessed John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester 
(Roffensis), and Blessed Thomas More, Card. Pole, 
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester ; and later 
Cardinal Allen, Blessed Edmund Campion, S.J., and 
Nicholas Sanders ; in France, Claude d'Espence, Claude de 
Sainctes, John Arboree, Jodocus Clichtovee, James Merlin ; 
in Italy, the Dominicans Sylvester Prierias, Ambrose 
Catharinus, and James Nacchiante (Naclantus), and 
Cardinal Seripandus, an Augustinian ; in Spain, the Mino- 
rites Alphonsus de Castro, Andrew Vega and Michael de 
Medina, the Dominicans Peter and Dominic Soto, and 
Melchior Canus ; in Portugal, Payva de Andrada, Perez de 
Ayala and Osorius. These writers treat of the Church, 
the sources and the rule of Faith, Grace, Justification, and 
the Sacraments, especially the Blessed Eucharist, and are 
to some extent positive as well as controversial. The 
following treatises had great and permanent influence on 
the subsequent theological development : M. Canus, De 
Locis Theologicis; Sander, De Monarchia Visibili Ecclesice ; 
Dom. Soto, De Natura et Gratia, and Andr. Vega, De 
Justificatione, written to explain the Sixth Session of the 
Council of Trent, in which both authors took a prominent 
part ; B. Canisius, De Beata Maria Virgine, a complete 
Mariology his great Catechism, or Summa Doctrince Chris- 
tiana, with its copious extracts from Holy Scripture and 

xxxiv Introduction. 

the Fathers may be considered as a modern " Book of 
Sentences." * 

Apart from controversy, few works of any importance 
appeared. Among systematic works we may mention the 
Institutiones ad Naturalem et Christianam Philosophiam of 
the Dominican John Viguerius, and the Compendium Instit. 
Cathol. of the Minorite Cardinal Clement Dolera, of which 
the first named, often reprinted and much sought after, 
aims at giving a rapid sketch of speculative theology. On 
the other hand, important beginnings were made in the 
theologico-philological exegesis of Holy Scripture, espe- 
cially by Genebrard, Arboreus, Naclantus, D. Soto and 
Catharinus, the last three of whom distinguished them- 
selves by their commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans 
which was so much discussed at this time. Sixtus of 
Siena furnished in his Bibliotheca Sancta (first published in 
1566) abundant materials for the regular study of Holy 

The Flour- II. The Flourishing Period began immediately after 
Verfixi. the Council of Trent, and was brought about as much by 
the discussions of the Council as by its decrees. This 
period has no equal for richness and variety. The strictly 
theological works (not including works on Moral Theo- 
logy, History, and Canon Law) may be divided into 
five classes : i. Exegesis ; 2. Controversy ; 3. Scholastic ; 
4. Mystic ; 5. Historico-patristic Theology. These classes, 
however, often overlap, for all branches of theology were 
now cultivated in the closest connection with each other. 
Exegesis was not restricted to philology and criticism, 
but made use of scholastic and patristic theology for a 
deeper knowledge and firmer consolidation of Catholic 
doctrine. The great controversialists gained their power 
by uniting a thorough knowledge qf exegesis and history 
to their scholastic training. Moreover, the better class of 
scholastic theologians by no means confined their attention 
to speculation, but drew much from the Holy Scriptures 
and the Fathers. On the other hand, the most eminent 
patristic theologians made use of Scholasticism as a clue 

1 On the works of these controversialists see Werner, History of Apologetic 
Literaturt (in German), iv. p. i, sqq. 

Introduction. xxxv 

to a better knowledge of the Fathers. Finally, many theo- 
logians laboured in all or in several of these departments. 

I. At the very opening of this period Exegesis was Exegesis. 
carried to such perfection, principally by the Spanish 
Jesuits, that little was left to be done in the next period, 
and for long afterwards the fruits gathered at this time 
were found sufficient. The labours of the Protestants are 
not worthy to be compared with what was done in the 
Catholic Church. 

The list of great exegetists begins with Alphonsus Saimeron. 
Salmeron, S.J. (1586). His gigantic labours on the New 
Testament (15 vols. folio) are not a running commentary 
but an elaboration of the books of the New Testament 
arranged according to matter, and contain very nearly 
what we should now call Biblical Theology, although as 
such they are little used and known. Salmeron is the 
only one of the first companions of St. Ignatius whose 
writings have been published. He composed this work at 
Naples in the last sixteen years of his life, after a career of 
great public activity. His brother Jesuits and fellow- 
countrymen, Maldonatus (in Paris), and Francis Toletus (in 
Rome), and Nicholas Serarius (a Lorrainer), should be 
named with him as the founders of the classical interpreta- 
tion of Holy Scripture. We may also mention the following 
Jesuits : Francis Ribera, John Pineda, Benedict Pereyra, 
Caspar Sanctius, Jerome Prado, Ferdinand de Salazar, 
John Villalpandus, Louis of Alcazar, Emmanuel Sa (all 
Spaniards) ; John Lorin (a Frenchman), Bened. Justini- 
anus (an Italian), James Bonfrere, Adam Contzen and 
Cornelius a Lapide (in the Netherlands), the last of whom 
is the best known. Besides the Jesuits, the Dominicans 
Malvenda and Francis Forerius, and Anthony Agelli (Clerk 
Regular) distinguished themselves in Italy ; and in the 
Netherlands, Luke of Bruges, Cornelius Jansenius of 
Ghent, and William Estius. 

For dogmatic interpretation, the most important, be- 
sides Salmeron, are Pereyra and Bonfrere on Genesis ; 
Louis da Ponte on the Canticle of Canticles ; Lorin on the 
Book of Wisdom ; Maldonatus, Contzen, and Bonfrere on 
the Gospels; Ribera and Toletus on St. John; Sanctius, 

xxx vi Introduction. 

Bonfrere, and Lorin on the Acts ; Vasquez, Justinianus, 
Serarius and Estius on the Epistles of St. Paul ; Toletus on 
the Romans, and Justinianus, Serarius, and Lorin on the 
Catholic Epistles. 

. 2. During this period, in contrast to the preceding, con- 
troversy was carried on systematically and in an elevated 
style, so that, as in the case of Exegesis, there remained 
little to be done in after ages except labours of detail. Its 
chief representatives, who also distinguished themselves by 
their great speculative learning, were Robert Bellarmine, 
Gregory of Valentia, Thomas Stapleton, Du Perron, 
Tanner, Gretser, Serarius, and the brothers Walemburch. 

Cardinal Bellarmine, SJ. (d. 1621), collected together, 
in his great work, Disputationes de Rebus Fidei hoc tempore 
controversis, the principal questions of the day under three 
groups : (a) on the Word of God (Scripture and Tradition), 
on Christ (the Personal and Incarnate Word of God), and 
on the Church (the temple and organ of the Word of God) ; 
(b) on Grace and Free Will, Sin and Justification ; (c] on 
the channels of grace (the Sacraments). He treats of 
almost the whole of theology in an order suitable to his 
purpose. The extensive learning, clearness, solidity, and 
sterling value of his work are acknowledged even by his 
adversaries. It continued for a long time to be the hinge 
of the controversy between Catholics and Protestants. 

Gregory of Valentia, SJ. (a Spaniard who taught in 
Dillingen and Ingolstadt, d. 1603), wrote against the Re- 
formers a series of classical treatises, which were afterwards 
collected together in a large folio volume. The most 
important of these are Analysis Fidei and De Trinitate. 
He condensed the substance of these writings in his Com- 
mentary on the Sujtima. 

Thomas Stapleton was born at Henfield, in Sussex, in 
the year 1535, and was educated at Winchester and New 
College, Oxford, of which he became fellow. When Eliza- 
beth came to the throne he was a prebendary of Chichester. 
He soon retired to Louvain, and was afterwards for some 
time catechist at Douai, but was recalled to Louvain, where 
he was appointed regius professor of theology. He died in 
1598. Stapletou is unquestionably the most important of 

Introduction. xxxvii 

the controversialists on the treatment of the Catholic and 
Protestant Rules of Faith. He concentrated his efforts on 
two principal works, each in twelve books. The first of 
these refutes, in a manner hitherto unsurpassed, the Protes- 
tant Formal Principle the Bible the only Source and Rule 
of Faith: De Principiis Fidei Doctrinalibus (Paris, 1579), to 
which are added a more scholastic treatise, Relcctio Princi- 
piorum Fidei Doctrinalium, and a long defence against 
Whitaker. The other deals with the Material Principle of 
Protestantism Justification by Faith only : Universa 
Justificationis Doctrina hodie controversa (Paris, 1582), 
corresponding with the second part of Bellarmine's work, 
but inferior to it. The two works together contain a com- 
plete exposition and defence of the Catholic doctrine 
concerning Faith and Justification. 

Nicolas Sander, or Sanders (b. 1527), was also, like sand. 
Stapleton, scholar of Winchester and fellow of New. On 
the accession of Elizabeth he went to Rome, and was after- 
wards present at the Council of Trent. His great work, 
De Visibili Monarchia Ecclesice, was finished at Louvain in 
1571. Another work, De Origine ac Progressu Schismatis 
Anglicani, was published after his death, and has lately 
been translated and edited by Mr. Lewis (Burns & Gates, 
1877). Sander was sent to Ireland as Nuncio by Gregory 
XIII., where he is said to have died of want, hunted to 
death by the agents of Elizabeth, about the year 1580. 

Cardinal Allen was born in Lancashire in the year 1532 Alien. 
and was educated at Oriel College, Oxford. He became 
in due course Principal of St. Mary Hall. On the death of 
Mary he left England, and resided for some time at Lou- 
vain. He was the founder of the famous English seminary 
at Douai, and was raised to the cardinalate by Sixtus V 
His work entitled Souls Departed: being a Defence and 
Declaration of the Catholic Church's Doctrine touching 
Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead, has lately been edited 
by Father Bridgett (Burns & Gates, 1886). He died in 
Rome, 1594.' 

1 The activity of the English Catholic controversialists at this time may 
ne seen from the articles issued by Grindal previous to his proposed visitation 

xxxviii Introduction. 

Cardinal James Davydu Perron (a Frenchman, d. 1618), 
wrote in his own mother tongue. His chief works are the 
Trait^ du Sacrement de I' Euckaristie, his controversies with 
James I. of England (that is, really with Casaubon), and the 
celebrated acts of the discussion with Philip Mornay, the 
so-called Calvinist pope. 

In Germany Valentia found worthy disciples in the keen 
and learned Adam Tanner (d. 1635), and the erudite and 
prolific James Gretser (d. 1625), both Jesuits of Ingolstadt, 
who worked together and supplemented each other's labours. 
Tanner, who was also a scholastic of note, followed the 
example of his master by condensing his controversial 
labours in his commentary on the Snmma. Gretser, on 
the other hand, spread out his efforts in countless skir- 
mishes, especially on historical subjects. His works fill 
sixteen volumes folio. Germany was also the scene of the 
labours of the brothers Adrian and Peter Walemburch, who 
were natives of Holland, and were both coadjutor-bishops, 
the one of Cologne, the other of Mayence. They jointly 
composed numerous successful controversial works, though 
only in part original, which were afterwards collected under 
the title of Controversies Generates et Particulares, in two 
volumes folio. 

About this time and soon afterwards many classical 
treatises on particular questions appeared in France. 
Nicolas Coeffeteau, a Dominican, wrote against M. A. de 
Dominis, Pro Sacra Monarchia Ecclesice Catholica ; Michael 
Maucer, a doctor of Sorbonne, on Church and State, De 
Sacra Monarchia Ecclesiastica et Scsculari, against Richer ; 
and the Jansenists Nicole and Arnaud composed their 
celebrated work De la Perpctuite" de la Foi on the Eucharist, 

of the province of Canterbury in 1576. "Whether there be r.ny person or 
persons, ecclesiastical or temporal, within your parish, or elsewhere within 
this diocese, that of late have retained or kept in their custody, or that read, 
sell, utter, disperse, carry, or deliver to others, any English books set forth of 
late at Louvain, or in any other place beyond the seas, by Harding, Dorman, 
Allen, Saunders, Stapleton, Marshall, Bristow, or any other English Papist, 
either against the Queen's Majesty's supremacy in matters ecclesiastical, or 
against true religion and Catholic doctrine now received and established by 
common authority within this realm ; and what their names and surnames 
are " (Art. 41, quoted by Mr. Lewis). 

Introduction. xxxix 

etc. Of the Controversies of St. Francis of Sales we have 
only short but very beautiful sketches. 1 

At the end of this period and the beginning of the next, 
may be mentioned Bossuet's Histoire des Variations, his 
celebrated Exposition de la Fot, and among his smaller 
works the pastoral letter, Les Prowesses deTEglise. Natalis 
Alexander has inserted many learned dogmatic polemical 
dissertations in his great History of the Church. 

3. Scholastic, that is, Speculative and Systematic, Theo-Sciiotast!s 
logy, like Exegesis and Controversy, and in close union th 
with them, was so highly cultivated that the labours of 
this period, although (at least in the early decades) inferior 
to those of the thirteenth century in freshness and origin- 
ality, and especially in moderation and calmness, never- 
theless surpassed them in variety and in the use of the 
treasures of Scripture and early Tradition. When Pius V. 
(1567) raised St. Thomas, and Sixtus V. (1587) raised 
St Bonaventure to the dignity of Doctors of the Church 
on the ground that they were the Princes of Scholastic 
Theology, and, also at the same time, caused their entire 
works to be published, it was the Church herself who 
gave the impulse and direction to the new movement. 

The great number of works and the variety of treatment 
make it difficult to give even a sketch of what was done 
in this department. Generally speaking, the theologians 
both of the old and of the newly-founded Religious Orders, 
and also most of the universities, kept more or less closely 
to St. Thomas. Scotism, on the contrary, remained con- 
fined to the Franciscans, and even among them many 
especially the Capuchins, turned to St. Thomas or St 
Bonaventure. The independent eclectic line taken by the 
Jesuits, in spite of their reverence for St. Thomas, soon 
provoked in the traditional Thomist school a strong reaction 
which gave birth to protracted discussions. 2 Although the 
peace was thereby disturbed, and much time, energy, and 
acuteness were spent with little apparent profit, neverthe- 
less the disputes gave proof of the enormous intellectual 

1 An excellent English edition of these Controversies has lately been 
published by Rev. Benedict Mackey, O.S.B. Burns & Gates. 
1 See Werner, Thomas of Aquin t vol. iii., p. 378, sqq. 


xl Introduction. 

power and activity which distinguished the first half of 
this period. As the Religious Orders were still the chief 
teachers of Theology, we may group the theologians of the 
period under the schools belonging to the three great 

Thomht (a) The strict Thomist school was naturally represented 

by the Dominicans. At their head stand the two Spaniards, 
Dominic Banuez (d. 1604) and Bartholomew Medina (d. 
1581), both worthy disciples of Dominic Soto and Melchior 
Canus, and remarkable for their happy combination of 
positive and speculative elements. Bannez wrote only 
on the Prima and Secunda Secundce, whereas Medina 
wrote only on the Prima Secunda and Pars tertia. Their 
works consequently complete each other, and together 
form a single work which may be considered as the 
classical model of Thomist theology. Bannez's doctrine 
of grace was defended by Didacus Alvarez, Thomas 
Lemos (Panoplia Divines Gratia*}, and Peter Ledesma 
(d. 1616). Gonet (Clypeus Theologies Thomisticce}, Goudin, 
and the Venetian Xantes Marialles ably expounded and 
defended the teaching of St. Thomas. The Carmelites 
reformed by St. Theresa proved powerful allies of the 
Dominicans. Their celebrated Cursus Salmanticensis in 
Summam S. Thomce (15 vols. folio), is the vastest and 
most complete work of the Thomist school. 

Among other theologians whose opinions were more or 
less Thomist may be mentioned the Benedictine Alphonsus 
Curiel (d. 1609), the Cistercian Peter de Lorca (d. 1606), 
the Augustinians Basil Pontius and Augustine Gibbon, an 
Irishman who taught in Spain and in Germany (Speculum 
Theologicuni) ; and Louis de Montesinos, professor at Alcala 
(d. 1623). Among the universities, Louvain was especially 
distinguished for its strict Thomism. The Commentary on 
the Sentences, by William Estius, is remarkable for clearness, 
solidity, and patristic learning. The Commentaries on the 
Summa, by John Malderus (d. 1645), John Wiggers (d. 
1639), and Francis Sylvius (dean of Douai, d. 1649), are 
written with moderation and taste. The three most im- 
portant scholastic theologians of the Sorbonne were less 
Thomistic, and approached more to the Jesuit school : 

Introduction. xli 

Philip Gamache (d. 1625), who was unfortunately the 
patron of Richer ; Andrew Duval (d. 1637), an opponent 
of Richer; and Nicholas Ysambert (d. 1642). The last 
two are very clear and valuable. In Germany, Cologne 
was the chief seat of Thomism, and a little later the Bene- 
dictine university of Salzburg strenuously supported the 
same opinions. One of the largest and best Thomistic 
works, although not the clearest, was composed towards 
the end of this period by the Benedictine Augustine 
Reding (d. 1692), Theologia Scholastica. 

(b} Scotism was revived and developed in Commen- Scotist 
taries on the Sentences by the older branches of the 
Franciscan Order, especially by the Irish members, the 
fellow-countrymen of Scotus, who had been driven from 
their own land by persecution, and were now dispersed 
over the whole of Europe ; and next to them by the 
Italians and Belgians. The most important were Maurice 
Hibernicus (d. 1603), Antony Hickey (Hiquaeus, d. 1641), 
Hugh Cavellus, and John Pontius (d. 1660). Towards 
the middle of the seventeenth century the Belgian, William 
Herincx, composed, by order of his superiors, a solid 
manual for beginners, free from Scotist subtleties, Smnma 
Theologies Scholastica, but it was afterwards superseded by 
Frassen's work. 

The Capuchins, however, and the other reformed 
branches of the Order, turned away from Scotus to the 
classical theology of the thirteenth century, partly to St. 
Thomas, but chiefly to St. Bonaventure. Peter Trigos, a 
Spaniard (d. 1593), began a large Summa Theol. ad mentem 
S. Bcnav. , \y\\\. completed only the treatise De Deo; Jos. 
Zamora (d. 1649) i s especially good on Mariology ; Theo- 
dore Forestus, De Trin. Mysterio in D. Bonav. Com- 
mentarii', Gaudentius Brixiensis, Summa, etc., 7 vols., folio, 
the largest work of this school. 

(c) The Jesuit School, renowned for their exegetical and Jesuit 
historical labours, applied these to the study of scholastic 
theology. As we have already observed, they were eclectics 
in spite of their reverence for St. Thomas, and they availed 
themselves of later investigations and methods. Their 
system may be described as a moderate and broad Thomism 

xl i i Introduction. 

qualified by an infusion of Scotism, and, in some instances, 
even of Nominalism. 1 

The chief representatives of this School, next to Toletus, 
a~e Gregory of Valentia, Francis Suarez, Gabriel Vasquez, 
and Didacus Ruiz, all four Spaniards, and all eminently 
acute and profound, thoroughly versed in Exegesis and the 
Fathers, and in this respect far superior to the theologians 
of the other Schools. 

Vakntia. Valentia, the restorer of theology in Germany (d. 1603), 

combines in the happiest manner in his Commentaries on 
the Stimma (4 vols., folio, often reprinted), both positive 
and speculative theology, and expounds them with elegance 
and compactness like Bannez and Medina. 

Suarez. Suarez (d. 1617, aged 7o), 2 styled by many Popes 

" Doctor Eximius," and described by Bossuet as the writer 
" dans lequel on entend toute 1'ecole moderne," is the most 
prolific of all the later Schoolmen, and at the same time 
renowned for clearness, depth, and prudence. His works 
cover the whole ground of the Summa of St. Thomas ; 
but the most extensive and classical among them are 
De Legtbus, De Gratia, De Virtutibus Theologicis, De Incar- 
natwne, and De Sacramentis, as far as Penance. 

Vasqucz. Vasquez (d. 1604), whose intellectual tendency was 

eminently critical, was to Suarez what Scotus was to St. 
Thomas. Unlike Scotus, however, he was as much at home 
in the exegetical and historical branches of theology as in 

RU! Ruiz surpasses even Suarez himself in depth and learn- 

ing. He wrote only De Deo (6 vols., folio). His best 
work, and indeed the best ever written on the subject, is 
his treatise De Trinitate. 

Besides these four chiefs of the Jesuit school, a whole 
host of writers might be mentioned. In Spain : Louis 
Molina (d. 1600), whose celebrated doctrine of Scientia 
Media was the occasion of so much controversy, was not 

1 On the Jesuit teaching in its relation to Thomism and Scotism, see 
Werner, Thomas of Aquin, vol. iii., p. 256, sqq. ; on their theological 
opinions generally and the controversies arising therefrom, see Werner, Suarez, 
vol. i., p. 172, sqq. 

2 See the beautiful work of Werner, Francis Suarez and the Laitr 

Introduction. xliii 

really the leader of the Jesuit school, but was more dis- 
tinguished as a moral theologian ; Jos. Martinez de Ripalda 
(d. 1648), famous for his work against Baius (Michael Bay), 
and for his twelve books De Ente Supernatural^ in which 
the whole doctrine of the supernatural was for the first 
time systematically handled ; Cardinal John De Lugo 
(d. 1660), better known as a moral theologian, is remarkable 
for critical keenness rather than for positive knowledge 
his most important dogmatic work is the often-quoted 
treatise De Fide Divina. The Opus Theologicum of Syl- 
vester Maurus, the well-known commentator on Aristotle, 
is distinguished by simplicity, calmness, and clearness, and 
by the absence of the subtleties so common in his day. 

In Italy : Albertini, Fasoli, and Cardinal Pallavicini 
(d 1667). 

In France : Maratius, Martinon, and the keen and refined 
Claude Tiphanus (d. 1641), author of a number of treatises 
(De Hypostdsi, De Ordine, De Creaturis Spiritiialibus} in 
which the nicest points of theology are investigated. 

In Belgium : Leonard Lessius (d. 1623), a pious, 
thoughtful, and elegant theologian, who wrote De Perfec- 
tionibus Moribusque Divinis, De Summo Bono, De Gratia 
Efficaci, and a commentary on the third part of the Summa ; 
^Egidius Coninck, John Praepositus, and Martin Becanus. 

Germany at this time had only one great native scholastic 
theologian, Adam Tanner (d. 1632). His Theologia Scho- 
lastica (in 4 vols. folio) is a work of the first rank, and com- 
pletes in many points the labours of his master, Gregory 
of Valentia. During this period, however, and far into 
the eighteenth century, German theologians directed their 
attention chiefly to the practical branches of theology, such 
as controversy, moral theology, and canon law, and in these 
acquired an acknowledged superiority. It is sufficient to 
mention Laymann (d. 1625), Lacroix (d. 1714), Sporer 
(d. 1714), and Schmalzgrueber (d. 1735). 

4. We omit writers who treat of the higher stages of Mystical 


the spiritual life, such as St. Theresa and St. John of the 
Cross, and mention only those who deal with dogmas as 
subjects of meditation, or who introduce dogmatic truths 
into their asoctical writings. To this period belong the 

xliv Introduction. 

Dominican, Louis of Granada, especially on account of 
bis excellent sermons ; the Jesuits, Francis Arias, Louis 
da Ponte (commentary on the Canticle of Canticles), 
Eusebius Nieremberg, Nouet (numerous meditations), and 
Rogacci, On the One Thing Necessary ; also Cardinal 
BeVulle, the founder of the French oratory, author of many 
works, especially on the Incarnation ; St. Francis of Sales, 
On the Love of God ; the Franciscan John of Carthagena, 
and the Capuchin D'Argentan. The works of Lessius 
may also be named under this heading, De Perfectionibns 
Divinis and De Summo Bono. The Sorbonne doctors, 
Hauteville, a disciple of St. Francis of Sales, Louis Bail, 
and later, the Dominican Contenson, worked up the Summa 
in a way that speaks at once to the mind and to the heart. 
Patnstico. 5. This branch of theology was cultivated especially 

Theology, in France and Belgium, and chiefly by the Jesuits, Domini- 
cans, Oratorians, and the new Congregation of Benedic- 
tines, and also by the Universities of Paris and Louvain. 
Their writings are mainly, as might be expected, dog- 
matico-historical or controversial treatises on one or other 
of the Fathers, or on particular heresies or dogmas. 
Thus, for instance, Gamier wrote on the Pelagians, and 
Combesis on the Monothelites, while Morinus composed 
treatises De Pcenitentia and De Sacris Ordinibus ; Isaac 
Habert, Doctrina Patrum Gr&corum de Gratia; Nicole 
(that is, Arnauld) on the Blessed Eucharist ; Hallier, 
De Sacris Ordinationibus ; Cellot, De Hierarchia et de 
Hierarchis ; Peter de Marca, De Concordia Sacerdotii et 
Imperii; Phil. Dechamps, De Hceresi Janseniana ; Bos- 
suet, Defense des Saints Peres, etc. ; and the Capuchin 
Charles Joseph Tricassinus on the Augustinian doctrine 
of grace against the Jansenists. Much good work was 
done in this department, but it is to be regretted that after 
the example of Baius many of the historical theologians 
such as Launoi, Dupin, the Oratorians, and to some extent 
the Benedictines of St. Maur, deserted not merely the 
traditional teaching of the Schoolmen, which they con- 
sidered to be pagan and Pelagian, but even the doctrine 
of the Church, and became partisans of Jansenism and 
Gallicanism. The Augustinus of Jansenius of Ypres 

Introduction. xlv 

(d. 1648) was the unhappy result of the misuse of splendid 
intellectual powers and immense erudition. The Jesuit 
Petavius and the Oratorian Thomassin attempted in their 
epoch-making works to treat the whole of dogmatic theo- 
logy from a patristic and historical point of view, but both 
accomplished only a portion of their design. 

Dionysius Petavius (Petau, d. 1647) finished no more 
than the treatises De Deo Uno et Trino, De Creatione and 
De Incarnatione, to which are subjoined a series of opuscula 
on Grace, the Sacraments, and the Church. Louis 
Thomassin (d. 1695) has left only De Deo Uno and Zte 
Incarnatione, and short treatises, De Prolegomenis Theologies, 
De Trinitate, and De Conciliis. Petavius is on the whole 
the more positive, temperate, and correct in thought and 
expression ; whereas Thomassin is richer in ideas, but at 
the same time fanciful and exaggerated in doctrine and 
style. The two supplement each other both in matter 
and form, but both are wanting in that precision and 
clearness which we find in the best of the scholastic 

III. The Period of Decay may be considered as a sort Pw 

* Deca 

of echo and continuation of the foregoing, but was also a 
time of gradual decomposition. The Jansenists and Carte- 
sians now played a part similar to that of the pseudo-mystic 
Fraticelli and the Nominalists at the end of the thirteenth 
century. Whilst the study of history and tne Fathers was 
continued and even extended, systematic and speculative 
Theology became neglected. The change manifested itself 
in the substitution of quartos for folios, and afterwards of 
octavos and duodecimos for quartos. The best dogmatic 
works of the period strove to combine in compact form the 
speculative and controversial elements, and were therefore 
commonly entitled, Theologia Dogmatica Scholastica et 
Polemica and often too et Moralis. Many of these works* 
by their compactness and clearness, produce a pleasing 
impression on the mind, and are of great practical value, 
but unfortunately they are often too mechanical in con- 
struction. The Germans especially took to writing hand- 
books on every department of Theology. In the former 
period Positive Theology was cultivated chiefly in France, 

xlvi Introduction. 

while Spain gave itself up to more subtle questions. Now, 
however, Italy gradually came to the front. A host of 
learned theologians gathered around the Holy See to fight 
against Jansenism and Regalism, which had spread over 
France and were finding their way gradually into Germany. 
Most of the older schools still remained, but they had lost 
their former solidity. Another school was now added 
the so-called Augustinian school, which flourished among 
the Augustinians and also at Louvain. It took a middle 
course between the older schools and the Jansenists in 
reference to St. Augustine's teaching. 

rhomisu. Among the Thomists we may mention Billuart (d. 1757), 

Card. Gotti (d. about 1730), Drouin (De re Sacramentaria) 
and De Rossi (De Rubeis). The two Benedictine Cardinals, 
Sfondrati and Aguirre (Theologia S. Anselmi), belong to the 
less rigorous school of Thomists, and, indeed, have a marked 
leaning to the Jesuit school. 

Scodsts. The Franciscan school produced the most important 

work of the period, and perhaps the most useful of all the 
Scotist writings : Scotus Academicus sen Universa Doctoris 
Sublilis Theologica Dogmata hodiernis academicorum mori- 
bus accomodata, by Claude Frassen (4 vols. folio, or 12 vols. 
quarto). Boyvin, Krisper, and Kick also wrote at this 
time. The well-known works of the Capuchin Thomas ex 
Charmes are still widely used. 

Jesuits. It was from the Jesuit school, however, that most of the 

manuals and compendiums proceeded. Noel composed a 
compendium of Suarez ; and James Platel an exceedingly 
compact and concise Synopsis Cursus Theolog. Antoine's 
Theologia Speculativa is to be commended more for its 
clearness than for its rigid opinions on morals. Germany 
produced many useful manuals, e.g., for controversy, the 
short work by Pichler, and a larger one by Sardagna. But 
the most important, beyond question, is the celebrated 
Theologia Wircebnrgensis, composed by the Wurzburg 
Jesuits, Kilber and his colleagues, about the middle of 
the eighteenth century. It includes both the positive and 
speculative elements, and is a worthy termination of the 
ancient Theology in Germany. 

oSt! The Augustinian school approached closely to Jansenism 

Introduction. xlvii 

on many points, but the devotion of its leading representa- 
tives to the Church and to genuine scholasticism saved it 
from falling into heresy. These leaders were Christian 
Lupus of Louvain and Cardinal Noris (d. 1704). Both 
were well versed in history and the Fathers, but they wrote 
only monographs. The great dogmatic work of this school 
is by Laurence Berti, De Theologicis Disciplinis (6 vols., 
sm. folio). The discalced Carmelite Henry of St. Ignatius 
is rather Jansenistic, while Opstraet is altogether so. On 
the other hand, the Belgian Augustinian Desirant was 
one of the ablest and most determined opponents of the 
Jansenists, and was consequently nicknamed by them 

The French Oratory, which had begun with so much Franc* 
promise, and had been so rich in learned historians, fell 
afterwards completely into Jansenism ; e.g. Duguet, Ques- 
nell, and Lebrun himself. Its best dogmatic works are the 
Institutiones Theol., by Gasper Juenin, and his Comment. 
hist. dogm. de Sacramentis. The French Benedictines, 
in spite of all their learning, have left no systematic work. 
Part of the Congregation of Saint-Maur inclined very 
strongly to Jansenism and Gallicanism. The Congrega- 
tion of Saint- Vannes, on the other hand, was rigidly 
orthodox, and produced in Calmet the greatest exegetist 
of the age, in Marshal and Ceillier excellent patrologists, 
and in Petit-Didier one of the most strenuous adversaries 
of Gallicanism, and a worthy rival of his religious brethren 
Sfrondrati, Aguirre, and Reding. 

The Sorbonne was much infected with Jansenism, and 
after 1682 almost completely adhered to the violent Gal- 
licanism of the French Government. Nevertheless, a 
tendency, Gallican indeed, but at the same time anti-Jan- 
senistic, was maintained, notably at St. Sulpice. We may 
mention Louis Abelly (d. 1619), Medulla Theologies; 
Martin Grandin, Opera theol. (5 vols.) ; Louis Habert 
(d. 1718, slightly Jansenistic), Du Hamel (a thorough Gal- 
lican), L'Herminier (Gallican), Charles Witasse (1716, Jan- 
senist). Tournely was the most learned and orthodox 
of this group, and his Preelections Theologiccs had great 
influence in the better-minded circles until they were sup- 

xlviii Introduction. 

planted by the vile work of Bailly. The Collectio fndi- 
ciorum de Norn's Erroribus, by Duplessis D'Argentre", 
published about 1728, is an important contribution to the 
history of Theology. 

Germany. In Germany, Eusebius Amort (Canon Regular) was 

the most universal theologian of his time ; his principal 
work, Theologia Eclectica, possessed abundant positive 
matter, and aimed at preserving the results of the past, 
while at the same time meeting the claims of the present. 
We may also mention the Theatine, Veranus, the Bene- 
dictines Cartier, Scholliner and Oberndoffer, the Abbd Ger- 
bert de Saint-Blaise, and, lastly, Joseph Widmann, Instit. 
Dogm. polem. specul. (1766 ; 6 vols. 8vo). 

The chief theological works were polemico-historical 
treatises against Jansenism, Gallicanism, and Febronian- 
ism : Viva, S.J., Damnatce Quesnelli Theses ; Fontana, S.J., 
Bulla Unigenitus propugnata ; Faure, S.J., Commentary on 
the Enchiridion of St. Augustine; Benaglio, Scipio Mafifei, 
the Dominicans De Rubeis, Orsi, Mamachi, Becchetti, the 
Jesuits Zaccharia, Bolgeni and Muzzarelli ; also Soardi, 
Mansi, Roncaglia, and the Barnabite Cardinal Gerdil. The 
learned Pope Benedict XIV., although more celebrated as 
a Canonist, wrote on many questions of dogma. Above all 
these, however, stands St. Alphonsus Liguori (d. 1787), 
who was raised to the dignity of Doctor of the Church by 
Pius IX., more on account of the sanctity of his life and 
the correctness of his opinions, especially in Moral Theology, 
than for his knowledge of dogma. 

The Period IV. The destructive and anti-Christian principles of 
tf egrada Jansenism, Gallicanism, and Regalism, which had been 
gradually gaining ground during the preceding period, led 
to the downfall of Catholic theology. These principles, in 
combination with the superficial philosophy of the day, and 
with the deplorable reverence, disguised under the name of 
tolerance, for rationalistic science and Protestant learning, 
did much mischief, especially in Germany. Theology 
became a sort of systematic collection of positive notions 
drawn from the writers of a better age, or more commonly 
from Protestant and Jansenistic sources. Any attempt at 
speculative treatment only meant the introduction of non- 

Introduction. xlix 

Catholic philosophy, particularly that of Kant and Schel- 
ling. Lawrence Veith, Goldhagen, and the Augsburg 
Jesuits, were brilliant exceptions ; but the best work of 
the period is Liebermann's /#.$///;///<?#$. Baader, Hermes, 
and Gunther attempted a more profound philosophical 
treatment of dogma in opposition to the Protestant philo- 
sophy. Their efforts were signalized by great intellectual 
power, but, at the same time, by dissociation from genuine 
theology, and by ignorance, or at least neglect, of the 
traditions of the schools. Italy alone preserved the ortho- 
dox tradition ; many of the writers named in the period of 
decay continued their labours far into the present period. 

The toleration granted to Catholics in England and English 
Scotland during the second half of the eighteenth century, W1 
gave them the opportunity of publishing works on Catholic 
doctrine. We may mention Bishop Challoner (1691-1/81), 
Grounds of the CatJiolic Doctrine, The Catholic Christian 
Instructed, The Grounds of the Old Religion ; Bishop Hay 
(1729-1811), Sincere Christian, Devout Christian, Pious 
Christian, and a treatise on miracles an excellent edition 
of these has been published by Blackwood, Edinburgh ; and 
Bishop Milner (1752-1826), whose End of Controversy is 
still the best work against Low Churchmen and Dissenters. 

When order was restored to Europe after the wars of TheRev 
the Revolution, the Church found herself stripped of her 
possessions and excluded from the ancient seats of learning. 
In spite of these disadvantages, signs were not wanting of 
the dawn of a new epoch of theological learning which 
seems destined to be in no way inferior to those which 
have gone before. The movement begun in France by 
Lamennais, Lacordaire, and Montalembert, was taken up 
even more vigorously in Germany. The study of Church 
history was revived by Dollinger, Hefele, Hergenrother, 
Janssen, and Pastor; Canon law, by Walter and Philips; 
Scripture, by Windischmann and Kaulen ; Symbolism, by 
Mohler ; Dogma, by Klee, Kuhn, Knoll, Scheeben, and 
Schwane; Scholastic philosophy and theology, by Kleutgen. 
The labours of the German school are summed up in the 
great Kirchenlexicon, published by Herder, of Freiburg. 
In Italy Libcratore and Sanseverino brought back the 

1 Introduction. 

Thomistic philosophy ; Passaglia, Perrone, Palmieri, and 
Franzelin (an Austrian) composed dogmatic treatises which 
have become text-books in almost every Catholic country ; 
Patrizi and Vercellone are well known for their Biblical 
labours. Among the French writers of the earlier years 
of the revival, Gousset, Gury, and Craisson deserve special 
mention ; while the gigantic labours of the Abbe Migne, 
in reproducing the works of former ages, have been of the 
greatest service to the study of theology. In spite of 
persecution, France is now producing theological work 
admirably suited to the needs of the day. We would 
refer especially to the Diet, de Thtologie Catholique, begun 
by the Abb6 Vacant ; the Bibliotheque de Thtologie His- 
torique, published under the direction of the Institut Catho- 
lique of Paris ; Diet, d' Archtologie et de Liturgie, by Dom 
Cabrol ; and the Bibliotheque de I ' Enseignement de I'Histoire 
Eccltsiastique. These four collections mark a new departure 
in theological literature. They are composed on strictly 
historical lines, noting in particular the development and 
growth of doctrines and institutions. Vigouroux's Diet, 
de la Bible is valuable, though perhaps too conservative in 
its tendencies. The same may be said of the Scriptures 
Sacrce Cursus of Comely, Knabenbaur, and Hummelauer. 
The Etudes Bibliques edited by Lagrange, and the texts 
and studies of La Pensee Chretienne are more advanced. 
England and the English-speaking countries have been 
content, as a rule, to take their theology from abroad. 
We have, however, some few theological works of our 
own, e.g. Murray's De Ecclesia and Kenrick's Theologia 
Moralis. But a whole host of writers have dealt with 
the Anglican controversy in its various aspects, while 
Cardinal Newman's works, especially his Development of 
Christian Doctrine, are more than ever valuable. 


The task ot I. The special task of Theology in the present day 
J0gy ' has been pointed out by the Vatican Council. In the 

Introduction. If 

Procemium to the First Constitution (as had already 
been indicated by Pius IX. in his allocutions and also in 
his encyclical Quanta Ciira issued in 1864), the council 
sketches in a few vivid strokes the chief errors of the 
age. After noting that these errors have sprung from 
the rejection of the Church's teaching authority in the 
sixteenth century, it points out how opposed they are to 
the errors of that time : the first Protestants held to 
" Faith alone " and " Grace alone ; " their modern successors 
believe in nothing but Reason and Nature. " Then there 
sprang up and too widely spread itself abroad through the 
world that doctrine of rationalism or naturalism which ; 
totally opposed as it is to the Christian religion as a super- 
natural institution, striveth with all its might to thrust out 
Christ from the thoughts and the life of men, and to set up 
the reign of mere reason or nature. Having put aside the 
Christian religion and denied God and His Christ, many 
have at last fallen into the pit of pantheism, materialism, 
and atheism, so that now, denying rational nature itself 
and every criterion of what is right and just, they are work- 
ing together for the overthrow of the foundations of human 
society. While this wickedness hath been gaining strength 
on all sides, it hath unhappily come to pass that many even 
of the Church's children have strayed from the path of 
godliness, and that in them, by the gradual minimizing 
of truths, Catholic feeling hath been weakened. Misled 
by strange doctrines, confounding nature and grace, human 
knowledge and Divine Faith, they have distorted the 
true meanings of dogmas as held and taught by Holy 
Mother Church, and have imperilled the integrity and 
purity of the Faith." Another constitution against Natural- 
ism was projected in which the Trinity, Incarnation, and 
Grace were to be treated, but it was not issued owing to 
the suspension of the council. Two more constitutions, on 
the Church and on Matrimony, were to deal with the 
social aspect of Rationalism and Naturalism that is, with 
Liberalism, but for the same reason only one of them 
(that on the Church) was published. See Vacant, Etudes 
Thtologiques sur le Concile du Vatican. 

The leading errors which Theology has to combat are, 

lii Introduction. 

therefore, Rationalism, Naturalism, and Liberalism. In 
opposition to Rationalism it establishes the supernatural 
character of theological knowledge ; in opposition to Natu- 
ralism it brings out the meaning and connection of the 
supernatural truths in all their sublimity and beauty ; and 
in opposition to Liberalism it proves the claim, and defines 
the extent, of the influence of the supernatural order upon 
the private and public life of men. While, however, care- 
fully distinguishing between Reason and Faith, and Nature 
and Grace, Theology at the same time insists upon the 
organic connection and mutual relation between the natural 
and the supernatural order. Hence it is more than ever 
important that Catholic doctrines should be set forth in 
such a way as to bring out their organic union and 

pun of this II, \y e shall begin by treating of General Theology, 
or, in other words, the Sources of Theological Knowledge, 
the rule and motive of Faith, how we are to know what 
we are to believe and why we should believe it (De Locis 
Theologicis) Book I. 

We shall then deal with Special Theology; that is, the 
contents of Revelation, what we are to believe. Special 
Theology naturally begins with God God considered in 
Himself, the Unity of the Divine Nature, and the Trinity 
of the Divine Persons {De Deo Uno et Trino~} Book II. 

Next it considers God in His fundamental and original 
relations to the Universe generally, and to intelligent crea- 
tures, angels and men, particularly, in so far as they receive 
from Him their nature by creation, and at the same time 
in so far as they have been called to a supernatural union 
with Him by Grace ; in other words God as the Origin 
and End of the natural and the supernatural order {De Deo 
Creante et Elevante) Book III. 

Inasmuch as this original relation of God to the world 
and of the world to Him was destroyed by the revolt ot 
the angels and of men, theology treats, in the third place, 
of Sin and its consequences {De Casu Diaboli et Ho minis] 
Book IV. 

In the fourth place it deals with the restoration of the 
supernatural order and the establishment of a higher order 

Introduction. liii 

and closer union with God by means of the Incarnation of 
God (De Verbo Incarnate] Book V. 

Fifthly, it expounds the doctrine of Grace, whereby, 
through the merits of Christ, man is inwardly cleansed from 
sin and restored to God's favour, and enabled to attain his 
supernatural end (De Gratia Christi} Book VI. 

Sixthly, it considers the means appointed by the In- 
carnate Word for the continuance of His work among 
men : the Church His mystical Body, the Blessed Eu- 
charist His real Body, and the other Sacraments (De 
Ecclesia Christi, De Sacramentis] Book VII. 

Lastly, Theology deals with the completion of the 
course of the Universe, the Fcur Last Things, whereby the 
universe returns to God, its End and Final Object (De 
Novissimis) Book VIII. 

NOTE. The quotations of Scripture are taken from the modern editions of 
the Douai-Rheims Version. The translations of the passages ot the Fathers 
are mostly taken from Waterworth's "Faith of Catholics." Our limited 
space has often compelled us to confine ourselves to mere statement without 
any explanation or proof. Jn such cases the reader must not assume that the 
doctrines stated are incapable of proof* 








SECT. I. Notion of Revelation Three Degrees of 

I. THE word Revelation originally means an unveiling' CHAP. i. 

SECT. i. 

a manifestation of some object by drawing back the cover- ^ T 

Notion of 

ing by which it was hidden. Hence we commonly use the Revelation. 
word in the sense of a bringing to light some fact or truth 
hitherto not generally known. But it is especially applied 
to manifestations made by God, Who is Himself hidden 
from our eyes, yet makes Himself known to us. It is with 
this Divine Revelation that we are here concerned. 

II. God discloses Himself to us in three ways. The Three 
study of the universe, and especially of man, the noblest Reflation, 
object in the universe, clearly proves to us the existence 
of One Who is the Creator and Lord of all. This mode of 
manifestation is called Natural Revelation, because it is 
brought about by means of nature, and because our own 
nature has a claim to it, as will be hereafter explained. 
But God has also spoken to man by His own voice, both 
directly and through Prophets, Apostles,and Sacred Writers. 

4 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. This positive (as opposed to natural) Revelation proceeds 
SKCT ' "' from the gratuitous condescension of God, and tends to a 
gratuitous union with Him, both of which are far beyond 
the demands of our nature. Hence it is called Supernatural 
Revelation, and sometimes Revelation pure and simple, 
because it is more properly a disclosure of something hidden. 
The third and highest degree of Revelation is in the Beatific 
Vision in Heaven where God withdraws the veil entirely, 
and manifests Himself in all His glory. Here on earth, 
even in Supernatural Revelation, " we walk by faith and 
not by sight ; " " we see now through a glass in a dark 
manner, but then [in the Beatific Vision] face to face ; " 
"we shall see Him as He is " (2 Cor. v. 7 ; I Cor. xiii. 12 ; 
I John iii. 2). 

SECT. 2. The Nature and Subject-matter of Natural 

Natural Revelation is the principle of ordinary know- 
ledge, and therefore belongs to the domain of philosophy. 
We touch upon it here because it is the basis of Super- 
natural Revelation, and also because at the present day 
all forms of Revelation have been confused and have lost 
their proper significance. 

The nature I. All natural knowledge of intellectual, religious, and 
ReVeTa^on. ethical truths must be connected with a Divine Revelation 
of some kind, and this for two reasons : to maintain the 
dependence of these truths upon God, and the better to 
inculcate the duty of obeying them. This Revelation, 
however, is nothing else but the action of God as Creator, 
giving and preserving to nature its existence, form, and 
life. Created things embody Divine Ideas, and are thus 
imitations of their antitypes, the Divine Perfections. The 
human intellect, in particular, is an image of the Divine 
Intellect : the Creator endows it with the power to infer, 
from visible nature, the existence and perfections of its 
Author ; and, from its own spiritual nature, the spiritual 
nature of the Author of all things. The revealing action 
of the Creator, then, consists in exhibiting, in matter and 
mind, the image of Himself, and in keeping alive in man 
the power of knowing the image and, through the 

FART I.] Divine Revelation. 5 

Him who is represented. Theories which confound this CHAP. i. 

OECT. 2. 

Natural Revelation with Positive Revelation, like Tradi- 
tionalism, or with the Revelation of Glory, like Ontologism 
completely misapprehend the bearing and energy of God's 
creative operations and of created nature itself. 

II. The following propositions, met with in the Fathers, Ex plT ?on* 
and even in Holy Scripture, must be understood to refer ex 

to a Natural Revelation. When rightly explained they 
serve to confirm the doctrine stated above. 

1. "God is the Teacher of all truth, even of natural 
truth," i.e. not by formal speech nor by an inner supernatural 
enlightenment, but by sustaining the mind and faculties 
with which He has endowed our nature (cf. St. August. 
De Magistro, and St. Thomas, De Veritate, q. XL). 

2. " God is the light in which we know all truth," that 
is, not the light which we see, but the Light which creates 
and preserves in us the faculty of knowing things as they 

3. " God is the truth in which we read all truth," not as 
in a book or as in a mirror, but in the sense that, by means 
of the light received from God, we read in creatures the 
truths impressed upon them. The same idea is sometimes 
expressed by saying that God impresses His truth upon 
our mind and writes it in our souls. 

4. It is particularly said that God has written His law 
upon our hearts (Rom. ii. 14, 15) and that He speaks to 
us in our conscience. This, however, does not mean a 
supernatural intervention ; through the light of reason God 
makes known to us His Will in a more vivid manner than 
even human language could do. 

III. Natural Revelation embraces all the truths which Subject- 
we can apprehend by the light of our reason. Neverthe- Na"ura? f 
less only those which concern God and our relations with Revela on - 
Him are said to belong to Natural Revelation, because 

they are the only truths in which He reveals Himself to us 
and which He commands us to acknowledge. Thus St. Paul 
(Rom. i. 18-20 and ii. 14-15) points out as naturally 
revealed "the invisible things of God," especially "His 
eternal power and Divinity," and also the Moral Law. 

It must not, however, be thought that all that can be or 

6 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [COOK I. 

CHAP. i. ought to be known about God, His designs, and His works, 

SECT. 3. 

is within the sphere of Natural Revelation. The unaided 
light of reasonjcan attain only a mediate knowledge of God 
by means of the study of His creatures, and must conse- 
quently be imperfect. Both the subjective medium (the 
human mind) and the objective medium (creation), are finite, 
whereas God is infinite. Moreover, the human intellect, by 
reason of its dependencg^on the senses, is so imperfect that 
it knows the essences of things" only from their phenomena, 
and therefore only obscurely and imperfectly. And lastly, 
the study of nature can result only in the knowledge of 
such truths as are necessarily connected with it, and can 
tell us nothing about any free acts which God may have 
performed above and beyond nature, the knowledge of 
which He may nevertheless require of us. 

Thus, even if the knowledge of God through the medium 
of natur^ without any special help were sufficient for our 
natural vocation, there would still be room for another and 
a supernatural revelation. But Natural Revelation is, in 
a certain sense, insufficient even for our natural vocation, 
as we shall now proceed to prove. 

SECT. 3. The Object and Necessity of a Positive Revela- 
tion Its Supernatural Character. 

Object of a I. The direct object or purpose of Positive Revelation is 
Retention, to impart to us the knowledge of the truths which it con- 
tains or to develop and perfect such knowledge of them as 
we already possess. The remote, but at the same time the 
chief, object is to enable us to attain our last end. The 
measure of the knowledge required depends uponjhe end 
ordained to man by his Creator ; its necessity is determined 
by the capability or incapability of man to acquire this 
knowledge. Thus the necessity of a Positive Revelation 
varies according to the end to be attained and man's 
capacity to attain it. 

its necessity. II. Man, as we shall see, is destined to a supernatural 
end, and consequently the principal object of a Positive 
Revelation is to enable him to reach it. But this supernatural 
vocation does not relieve him from his natural duties, and 
even for the fulfilment of these a Positive Revelation is in 

PAHT T.I Divine Revelation. 7 

a certain sense necessary. The Catholic doctrine on this CHAP. i. 

' SECT. 3. 

point has been defined by the Vatican Council. " To this 
Divine revelation it belongeth that those Divine things 
which are not impervious to human reason may, in the 
present state of the human race, be known by all with 
expedition and firm certainty, and without any mixture of 
error. Nevertheless not on this account must Revelation 
be deemed absolutely necessary, but because God of His 
infinite goodness hath ordained man to a supernatural end, 
that is to say, to be a sharer Ju the good things-of God which 
altogether surpass the understanding of the human mind ; 
for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered 
into the heart of man what things God hath prepared for 
them that love Him " (sess. Hi., chap. 2). We must there- 
fore distinguish two different kinds of necessity. 

I. Positive Revelation is not absolutely, categorically, Relative 
and physically necessary for the knowledge of truths of 
the natural order bearing upon religion and morals, but 
it is relatively, hypothetically, and morally necessary. If 
Positive Revelation were absolutely necessary for the 
acquisition of natural, moral, and religious truths, then 
none of these truths could be known by any man in any 
other way. But this is plainly opposed to the doctrine that 
God and the moral law may be known by man's unaided 
reason. Many difficulties, however, impede the acquisition 
of this knowledge. Very few men have the talent and 
opportunity to study such a subject, and even under the 
most favourable circumstances there will be doubt and 
error, owing to man's moral degradation and the influences 
to which he is exposed. Positive Revelation is needed to 
remedy these defects, but the necessity is only relative, 
because it exists merely in relation to a portion of mankind, 
a part of the moral law, and in different degrees under 
different circumstances ; the necessity is moral, because 
there is no physical impossibility but only great difficulty ; 
and hypothetical, because it exists only in the hypothesis 
that God has provided no other means of surmounting 
the difficulties. 

2. On the other hand Positive Revelation is absolutely, Absolute 


categorically, and physically necessary for the attainment of 

8 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. our supernatural end. To reach this end we must tend 
St fL 4 ' towards it supernaturally while we are here on earth (in 
statu via), and this supposes the knowledge of the end 
and of the means thereto. As both are supernatural, both 
must be made known by means of a direct communication 
from the Author of the supernatural order. And the neces- 
sity is absolute, because it extends to every truth of this 
order and arises from the very nature of man ; physical, 
because of man's physical incapacity of knowing God as 
He is in Himself; and categorical, because God cannot 
substitute any other means for it. 

Supernatural III. Positive Revelation is always a supernatural act as 
far as its form is concerned, because, in making it, God is 
acting beyond and above His ordinary activity as Creator, 
Conservator, and Prime Mover of nature, and out of purely 
gratuitous benevolence. This supernatural character be- 
longs to it even when it merely supplements Natural 
Revelation. But it is purely and simply supernatural in 
all respects only when it manifests supernatural truths and 
is the means to a supernatural end. 

SECT. 4. The Subject-matter of Supernatural Revelation 


The Subject- I. We learn from the preceding section that Super- 
Supematurai natural Revelation gives us knowledge of truths unrevealed 
by Natural Revelation. These truths constitute the specific 
and proper contents of Supernatural Revelation. As, how- 
ever, this Revelation is by word of mouth, and not, as in the 
Revelation of Glory, by the vision of its object ; as it does 
not entirely lift the veil from revealed things : it leaves 
them in obscurity, entirely withholding their reality from 
the mind's eye, and only reproducing their essence in 
analogical concepts taken from the sphere of our natural 
knowledge. This peculiar character of the contents of 
Supernatural Revelation is called Mystery, or mystery 
of God ; that is, a truth hidden in God, but made known 
to man by a free communication. 

Mystery. II. Mystery * in common parlance means something 

hidden or veiled, especially by one mind from another. 

* Mi/'tiv, to close the eyes ; juC, a slight sound with closed lips. 

PART ij Divine Revelation. 9 

It implies the notion that some advantage attaches to the CHAP. i. 


knowledge of it which gives the initiated a position superior '. ' 
to outsiders. The heathens gave the name of " mysteries " 
to the symbolical or sacred words and acts which they 
kept secret from the multitude, or to the hidden meaning 
of their liturgy, understood only by the initiated. The 
Fathers applied the term to the sacred words and acts 
of the true religion, kept secret from the heathen and 
catechumens, and understood only by the perfect, especially 
the mysteries knowable only by Faith which are veiled 
under the sacramental appearances (cf. Card. Newman, 
Development, p. 27). 

1. The notion of theological mystery properly so called Definition, 
implies that the mysterious truth is incapable of being 
discovered by human reason, and that, even after it is 
revealed, reason cannot prove its existence. These con- 
ditions, however, are fulfilled by many truths which are 

not usually styled mysteries. Hence we must add the 
further condition that the truth should be naturally un- 
knowable on account of its absolute and objective supe- 
riority to our sphere of knowledge, and that we should 
consequently be unable to obtain a direct and proper, 
but only an analogical, representation of its contents. 
A mystery is therefore subjectively above reason and 
objectively above nature. 

2. That there are such mysteries has been defined by That there 
the Vatican Council. " Besides those things which natural mysteries, 
reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief the the Vatican 
mysteries hidden in God, which, unless they were divinely 
revealed, could not be known." Although by means of 
analogy we may obtain some knowledge of these mysteries, 
nevertheless human reason is never able to perceive them 

in the same way as it perceives the truths which are its 
proper object. " The Divine mysteries, by their very nature, 
so far surpass the created intellect that, even when they 
have been imparted by Revelation and received by Faith, 
they nevertheless remain hidden and enveloped, as it were, 
in a sort of mist, as long as in this mortal life we are 
absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith and not by 
sight " (sess. Hi., chap. 4). And the Council speaks of the 


A Afanual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK T. 


SECT. 4. 




to Christian 

two elements, subjective and objective, in the correspond- 
ing canon i : "If any one shall say that in Divine Reve- 
lation no mysteries properly so called are contained, but 
that all the dogmas of the Faith may be understood and 
demonstrated from natural principles by reason duly cul- 
tured, let him be anathema " (cf. the Brief of Pius IX., 
Gravissimas inter}. 

3. The doctrine of the Council is based on many pas- 
sages of Holy Scripture, some of which are quoted or alluded 
to in the decrees. The fullest text is i Cor. ii. : " Howbeit 
we speak wisdom among the perfect, yet not the wisdom 
of this world, neither of the princes of this world that come 
to nought ; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery 
[a wisdom] which is hidden, which God ordained before 
the world unto our glory : which none of the princes of 
this world knew. . . . But, as it is written ; that eye hath 
not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the 
heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them 
that love Him. But to us God hath revealed them by His 
Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep 
things of God. For what man knoweth the things of 
a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him ? So the 
things that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit 
of God. Now we have received not the spirit of this 
world, but the Spirit that is of God : that we may know 
the things that are given us from God" (6-12). Compare 
also Eph. iii. 4-9 ; Col. i. 26, 27 ; Matt. xi. 25-27, and 
John i. 1 8. The writings of the Fathers are very rich in 
commentaries on these texts, many of which are quoted 
in the Brief Gravissimas inter. See especially St. 
Chrysostom and St. Jerome on Eph. iii. ; also St. Peter 
Chrysologus, horn. 67, sqq., on the Lord's Prayer. 

4. The presence of mysteries in Christian Revelation is 
essential to its sublime character. The principle of Reve- 
lation is God Himself in His character of Father, sending 
His Son and, through Him, the Holy Ghost into this world 
to announce " what the Son received from the Father, and 
the Holy Ghost from both." Again, the motive of Revela- 
tion is the immense love of the Son of God for us : He 
speaks to us a friend to friends, telling us the secret 

PART I.] Divine Revelation. \ \ 

things of His Father (John xv. 14). And the end of CHAP, i 
Revelation is to lead us on to a truly supernatural state, - ' 
the direct vision of God face to face. Moreover, without 
mysteries, Faith would not be "the evidence of things that 
appear not" (Heb. xi. i), nor would it be meritorious 
(Rom. iv., Heb. x.). In fact, the very essence of Revela- 
tion is to be supernatural and therefore mysterious, so that 
all who deny the existence of mysteries deny also the 
supernatural character of Christianity. We may add that 
the study of the revealed truths themselves will plainly 
show their mysterious nature. 

5. The mysteries which are the subject-matter of Revela- "The 
tion are not merely a few isolated truths, but form a super- rosmos/* 
natural world whose parts are as organically connected as 
those of the natural world a mystical cosmos, the outcome 

of the " manifold wisdom of God " (Eph. iii. 10). In their 
origin they represent Ul'idtU various forms the communica- 
tion of the Divine Nature by the Trinity, the Incarnation, 
and Grace ; in their final object they represent an order 
in which the Triunity appears as the ideal and end of a 
communion between God and His creatures, rendered 
possible through the God-Man, and accomplished by 
means of grace and glory. 

6. It is folly to maintain that the revelation of mysteries Mystery no 
degrades our reason ; on the contrary, it is at once an of^o^ " 
honour and a benefit. To say that there are truths be- 
yond the reach of our reason is surely not to degrade it, 

but to acknowledge the true extent of its powers. And 
what an honour it is to man to be made in some way a 
confidant of God ! Moreover, the more a truth is above 
reason the more precious it is to us. Finally, the know- 
ledge of things supernatural is a pledge and foretaste of the 
perfect knowledge which is to come. 

SECT. 5. The Province of Revelation. 

I. Revelation embraces all those truths which have been Revealed 
revealed in any way whatever. 

I. Some revealed truths can be known only by means 
of Revelation ; as, for instance, the Blessed Trinity, the 

12 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. Incarnation, and Grace. Others can be known by natural 
"^II 5 ' reason also ; for instance, the Unity of God, Creation, and 
the Spirituality of the Soul. The former, which are purely 
and simply matters of Faith, are revealed in order to be 
made known ; whereas the latter are mentioned in Reve- 
lation tojaexve as a^basis. 

2. Another important distinction is that between matters 
of Faith and matters of morals. Matters_pf Faith __refer to 
God and His works, and are primarily of a speculative 
character. Matters of morals refer to man and his conduct, 
for which they prescribe practical rules. 

3. A third distinction is between truths revealed for 
their own sake and truths revealed for the sake of those. 
This distinction is of great importance with regard to the 
contents of Holy Writ. 

4. Lastly, some truths stand out clearly in Revelation, 
and are revealed in their completeness, while others can 
only be inferred by means of reflection and study. The 
latter are called corollaries of the Faith, or theological 
truths. It may come to pass that these may be proposed 
as matter of Faith by the Church, because they are neces- 
sary for the support of the Faith and also for the attain- 
ment of its object. 

These four groups of revealed truths may not inaptly 
be compared to the different parts of a tree. Matters 
of Faith, pure and simple, are like the trunk ; the natural 
truths which serve as a basis are the roots ; truths inci- 
dentally revealed are the bark which envelops and pro- 
tects the trunk ; truths inferred by ratiocination are the 
branches which spring from the trunk ; while the practical 
truths are the buds and flowers, from which proceeds the 
fruit of Christian life. 

other truth? II. Although, strictly speaking, things revealed are 
frith. ' alone the subject-matter of Faith, nevertheless many truths 
belonging to the domain of natural reason, but at the same 
time so connected and interwoven with Revelation that 
they cannot be separated from it, may also be reckoned as 
matter of Faith. These truths are, as it were, the atmo- 
sphere in which the tree of Revelation lives and thrives. 
The determination of the meaning of words used for the 

PART I.] Divine Revelation. 13 

expression of dogmas (e.g. o/uoouo-toc), and of passages in CHAP. i. 
Holy Scripture and other documents, are instances. In 
like manner many truths are inseparably connected with 
matters of morals, e.g. discipline, ceremonies, Religious 
Orders, the temporal power of the Pope, etc. 

SECT. 6. Progress of Revelation. 

I. Supernatural Revelation was not given at once in all Revelation 

c> . not completo 

its completeness. From the day of Creation to the day ot in the 


Judgment God has spoken, and will speak, to mankind at 
sundry times and in divers manners (Heb. i. i). Natural and 
Supernatural Revelation run in parallel lines. Yet, whilst 
the former is addressed to all men at all times in the same 
form, the latter is made immediately only to individuals, 
and is not necessarily meant for all mankind. We are not, 
however, concerned here with private revelations, but only 
with those which are public, i.e. destined for all men. 

II. Public Revelation may be divided into two por-Twopor- 

T-, tions of 

tions : the Revelation made to man in his original state Revelation 

of integrity in Paradise, and the Revelation made to fallen 
man that is, the Revelation of Redemption. 

1. The Revelation in Paradise was public because it was Revelation 

* g in Paradise 

to be handed down to all men as an inseparable comple- 
ment of Natural Revelation. Holy Scripture mentions as 
its subject-matter only the law of probation given to 
Adam, but it connects this law with the supernatural 
order because the possession of immortality was to be 
the reward of obedience. It may be inferred, however, 
that all other necessary elements of the order of grace 
were clearly revealed, e.g. the Divine adoption of man, and 
the corresponding moral law, although the Old Testament 
mentions only the gift of integrity. 

2. The Revelation of Redemption, or of the Gospel, was The Reve- 
preparatory in the Old Testament and complete in the Redemption, 
New. The preparatory stacje was begun with the Patri- 
archs and continued with Moses and the Prophets. The 
Patriarchal Revelation contained the promise of the coming 

of the Redeemer, and pointed out the family from which 
He was to spring ; it also enacted some few positive com- 
mandinents. But as it did not form a complete system of 

14 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

C SECT > *6 1 ' re ligi us truths and morals, and added little to what might 
be known by the unaided light of reason, it may be called 
the Law of Nature. The next stage, the Mosaic Reve- 
lation, was a closer preparation for the Revelation of the 
Gospel, and laid the foundation of an organized kingdom 
of God upon earth. Its object was to secure the worship 
of the one God and to keep alive the expectation of the 
Redeemer. Man is considered as a guilty servant of God, 
not as His child (Gal. iv. i). Nevertheless even this Reve- 
lation contains little more than Natural Revelation, except 
the positive ordinances for safeguarding the Law of 
Nature, for the institution of puBTic worship, and for the 
atonement for sin. In the days of the Prophets the Reve- 
lation of the Gospel already began to dawn : the super- 
natural and the Divine began to appear in purer and 
clearer outline. Finally, the Revelation completed through 
Christ and the Holy Ghost surpasses all the others in 
dignity because its Mediator was the Only Begotten Son 
of God (Heb. i. i), Who told what He Himself had heard 
(John i. 1 8), nay, Who is Himself the Word of God, and 
in Whom God speaks (John viii. 25). The descent of the 
Holy Ghost upon the Apostles supplemented and com- 
pleted what Christ had revealed. " When He, the Spirit 
of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth " (John 
xvi. 13). 
NO further in. The dignity and perfection of Christian Revelation 

Revelation * 

to be require that no further public Revelation is to be made. 

expected. A -^ ,- ^ ,__ 

The Old Testament dispensation pointed to one that was 
to follow, but the Christian dispensation is that "which 
remaineth " (2 Cor. iii. 1 1 ; cf. Rom. x. 3, sqq. ; Gal. iii. 
23, sqq.) ; an " immovable kingdom " (Heb. xii. 28) ; per- 
fect and absolutely sufficient (Heb. vii. II, sqq.) ; not the 
shadow, but the very image of the things to come (Heb. 
x. i). And Christ distinctly says that His doctrine shall 
be preached until the consummation of the world, and 
declares " All things whatsoever I have heard from My 
Father I have made known unto you " (John xv. 15), and 
" when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you 
all truth," iraaav TYIV a\i'iOtiav (John xvi. 13). The Apostles 
also exhort their disciples to stand by the doctrine which 

I.] Divine Revelation. 15 

they received, and to listen only to the Church (2 Tim. 
it. 2, and iii. 14). And the epistle ascribed to St. Barnabas 
contains the well-known formula : "The rule of light is, to 
keep what thou hast received without adding or taking 
away." Moreover, the Church has always rejected the 
pretension of those who claimed to have received new 
revelations of a higher order from the Holy Ghost, e.g. 
the Montanists, Manichaeans, Fraticelli, the Anabaptists, 
Quakers, and Irvingites. 

The finality of the present Revelation does not, how- 
ever, exclude the possibility of minor and subsidiary 
revelations made in order to throw light upon doctrine or 
discipline. The Church is the judge of the value of these 
revelations. We may mention as instances of those which 
have been approved, the Feast of Corpus Christi and the 
devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

From the above we deduce the existence of a gradual 
progress, both extensive and intensive, in Revelation. The 
extensive progress does not start from Adam or Noah, 
but from Abraham, the patriarch selected among fallen 
mankind. Patriarchal Revelation was made to a family, 
Mosaic Revelation to a people, Prophetical Revelation to 
several peoples, Christian Revelation to the whole world. 
The intensive progress consists in a higher degree of illu- 
mination and a wider range of the revealed truths. The 
intensive progress likewise begins with Abraham and 
ascends through Moses and the Prophets to Christ, Who 
leads us to the bright day of eternity (infra, pp. 71, 105). 

1 6 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 


SECT. 7. The Protestant Theory and the Catholic Theory 
concerning the Mode of transmitting and enforcing 

CHAP. n. DIVINE Revelation, although destined for all men in all 
^- 7 ' times and places, has not been communicated to each in- 
dividual directly and immediately. Certain means have 
been appointed by God for this purpose. Catholics and 
Protestants, however, hold diametrically opposite views as 
to what these means are. We shall first state both theories, 
and then develop and prove the Catholic theory. 

The I. The Protestant theory takes two different forms, 

Protestant 111-1 t /- t * i A 

theory. both alike opposed to the Catholic theory. According to 
the older Protestants, Holy Scripture, the divinely written 
document of Revelation, together with an interior illumina- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, is the sole means whereby Revela- 
tion asserts itself to the individual. All other institutions 
or external means of communicating Revelation are the 
work of man, coming violently between Revelation and 
Faith, and destroying the supernatural character of the 
latter. Modern Protestants, however, admit the existence 
of other means of transmission besides Holy Writ itself, 
but they deny that such means are ordained by God and 
participate in the Divine character of Revelation ; while 
some even go so far as to deny the supernatural character 
of Holy Scripture. Revealed truth is handed down by 
purely human witnesses, whose authority depends, not on the 
assistance of the Holy Ghost, but on their natural abilities 

L] The Transmission of Revelation. 1 7 

and industry. Both forms protest the one in the name ' C |J|/ u 
of Christian, the other in the name of natural, freedom 
against the notion of a Revelation imposing itself authori- 
tatively on mankind ; and they also protest against any 
living and visible authority claiming to be established by 
God and to have the right to impose the obedience of 

II. The Catholic theory is a logical consequence of the The 
nature of Revelation. Revelation is not simply intended theory, 
for the comfort and edification of isolated individuals, but 
as a fruitful source of supernatural knowledge and life, and 
a sovereign rule of Faith, thought, and conduct for all man- 
kind as a whole, and for each man in particular. God wills 
that by its means all men should be gathered into His 
kingdom of holiness and truth, and should obtain, by con- 
formity to His Will, the happiness which He destines for 
them, at the same time rendering to Him the tribute of glory 
which is His due. Revelation is especially intended to be 
a principle of Faith, leading to an infallible knowledge of 
revealed truth, and also to be a law of Faith, by submitting 
to which all men may offer to God the most perfect homage 
of their intellect. Hence it follows that God should provide 
efficient means to enable mankind to acquire a complete, 
certain, and uniform knowledge of revealed truth, and to 
secure to Himself a uniform and universal worship founded 
on Faith. This exercise of God's Jus Majestatis over the 
mind of man is rightly insisted upon by the Vatican 
Council against the rationalistic tendencies of the day. 
Moreover, God could not cast upon the world the written 
document of His revealed Word, and leave it to an un- 
certain fate.- Had He done so, the purposes of Revela- 
tion would have been completely frustrated. The only 
efficient mode of transmitting Revelation with authority is 
that the Word of God, after having once been spoken, 
should be continuaHy^proposed to mankind by His autho- 
rized envoys, and promulgated in His name and power 
as the principle and rule of Faith. These envoys are 
called the Teaching Body ; their functions are called the 

Thus, according to the Catholic theory, there is a means 


1 8 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

' ^ transm itting Revelation distinct from Revelation itself 
and its written document ; and this means, having been 
instituted by God, detracts in no way from the dignity of 
Revelation, but rather safeguards it. Other means of 
transmission, such as Scripture and history, are by no 
means excluded ; they are, however, subordinate to the 
one essential and fundamental means. 

SECT. 8. Further Explanation of the Catholic Theory. 

Divine I. The promulgation of revealed truth, being an act of 

of uT/p'ro- God as Sovereign Lord of all creatures, must be made in 
muigation. ^ & name o f j^j s sovereign authority and by ambassadors 
invested with a share of that authority. Their commission 
must consist of an appointment emanating from God, and 
they must be armed with the necessary credentials and the 
power of exacting Faith from those to whom they are sent. 
Thus qualified, the promulgation may be technically de- 
scribed as official, authentic, and authoritative : official, 
because made by persons whose proper office it is to pub- 
lish like heralds in human affairs ; authentic, because 
with the commission to promulgate there is connected a 
public dignity and authority, in virtue of which the holder 
guarantees the truth of his utterances, and makes them 
legally credible as in the case of public witnesses, such as 
registrars ; authoritative, because the holder of the com- 
mission is the representative of God, invested with autho- 
rity to exact Faith from his subordinates, and to keep 
efficient watch over its maintenance. 
God's co- II. A threefold Divine co-operation is required for the 

operation. . . 

attainment of the end of Revelation : the promulgation 
must be made under Divine guarantee, Divine legitima- 
tion, and Divine sanction. The object of the Aposto- 
late is to generate an absolute, supernatural, and Divine 
certainty of the Word of God. Moreover, the promul- 
gating body claims a full and unconditional submission of 
the mind to the truths which it teaches. But this cer- 
tainty could not be produced, and this submission could 
not be demanded, except by an infallible body. The 
intrinsic and invisible quality of infallibility is not enough 
to convey the authenticity and authority of the Aposto- 

PAP.T I.] The Transmission of Revelation. \ 9 

late to the knowledge of mankind some external mark CHAP. n. 
is required. Christ proved the authority of His mis- 
sion by miracles, and then instituted the Apostolate. His 
words and works were sufficient evidence for those who 
actually witnessed them. For us some other proof is 
necessary ; and this may be either some special miracle 
accompanying the preaching of the Gospel, or the general 
moral miracle of the continuity and efficiency of the Apos- 
tolate. This subject will be treated at greater length 
in the treatise on Faith. The sanction of the Apos- 
tolate consists in the rewards and punishments reserved 
hereafter for those who accept or reject its teaching, and 
is the complement of its authority. Submission to Re- 
velation is the fundamental condition of salvation, and 
consequently submission to the Apostolate, which is the 
means of transmitting Revelation, must be enforced by the 
same sanctions as submission to Revelation itself. 

III. The act of promulgation must be a teaching Natureofthe 
(magisterium) t and not a mere statement ; this teaching ^uigltk^ 
must witness to its identity with the original Revelation, 

i.e. it must always show that what is taught is identical 
with what was revealed ; it must be a " teaching with 
authority" that is, it must command the submission of 
the mind, because otherwise the unity and universality of 
the Faith could not be attained. 

IV. The subject-matter of the Apostolate is co-exten- The sub- 
sive with the subject-matter of Revelation. It embraces, dire* an?' 
besides the truths directly revealed, those also which are of the 
intimately connected and inseparably interwoven therewith ' 

(cf. 5). Divine Faith cannot indeed be commanded 
in the case of truths not directly revealed by God; 
nevertheless the Teaching Body, the living witness and 
ambassador plenipotentiary of the Word of God, must, 
when occasion requires, be empowered to impress the seal 
of authenticity on subordinate truths also, for without this 
power the object of the Apostolate would in many cases 
be thwarted. The Church exercises this power when 
authoritatively passing judgment on dogmatic facts (facta 
dogmatica], or applying minor censures to unsound pro- 

2O A Manual of Catholic Theology. [Boo* i. 


SECT - 9- SECT. 9. Demonstration of 'the Catholic Theory. 

The Catholic theory that Revelation is transmitted 
and communicated by means of envoys and teachers 
accredited by God, is evident a priori, i.e. the considera- 
tion of the nature of Revelation and its object shows 
that no other theory is practically possible. There are, 
however, other proofs also, which are set forth under the 
following headings : 

I. Proof from our Lord's words. 

The words I. The documentary proof of the institution of a teach- 

don?"' ing Apostolate is found in Holy Scripture exactly where 
we should expect to find it, viz. at the end of the Gospels 
and at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. 

st Manhew (ci) The first Evangelist, St. Matthew (xxviii. 18, 19), 
gives the narrative around which all the others group them- 
selves. He shows, first, that the Apostles' mission is based 
upon the sovereign power of Christ, and he then characterizes 
this mission as the visible continuation of the mission of 
Christ the working of the Apostolate is described as an 
authorized teaching of the whole doctrine of Christ to all 
men of all times ; lastly, baptism is stated to be the act 
by which all mankind are bound to become the disciples 
of the Apostolate. "All power is given to Me in Heaven 
and on earth. Going therefore [in virtue of, and endowed 
with this My sovereign power, " As the Father hath sent 
Me, I also send you " John xx. 21] teach ye [//a^rjrtu- 
o-arf make to yourselves disciples, teach as having power ; 
cf. Mark i. 22] all nations, baptizing them in the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : 
teaching them (StSao-Kovrtg) to observe all things whatso- 
ever I have commanded you (ii;erAof/nv) : and behold I 
am with you all days, even to the consummation of the 
world." It is evident from the text that the promised 
presence of Christ is intended to secure the object of the 
Apostolate, and, consequently, that the Apostolate must 
be infallible. (Sec Bossuet, Instructions sur les Promesses 
faites a I* Eglise ; and Wiseman, The Principal Doctrines 
and Practices of the Church, lect. iv.) 

Su Mark. () The second Evangelist, St. Mark, describes the 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 2 1 

" teaching " of St. Matthew as a " preaching," and mentions, C ^P. n. 
instead of the intrinsic guarantee of infallibility, the extrinsic 
signs of authority and sanction. " Go ye into the whole 
world and preach (Kripv^art) the Gospel to every creature 
[as an authorized message from the Creator and Sove- 
reign Lord to all mankind as His creatures]. He that 
believeth [your preaching] and is baptized shall be saved ; 
but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these 
signs shall follow them that believe : in My name they 
shall cast out devils. . . . But they [the eleven] going forth, 
preached everywhere : the Lord working withal, and con- 
firming the word with signs that followed " (xvi. 15-20). 

(^r) The third Evangelist, St. Luke, draws attention to St. Luke, 
the mission to " preach," but afterwards lays special stress 
on its principal act the authentic witnessing and points 
to the Holy Ghost, of Whom the human witnesses are the 
mouthpiece, as the guarantee of the infallibility of the 
testimony. "Thus it is written, and it behoved Christ to 
suffer, and to rise again from the dead on the third day ; 
and that penance and the remission of sins should be 
preached in His name unto all nations, beginning at Jeru- 
salem. And you are witnesses of these things, and I send 
the promise of My Father upon you " (xxiv. 46-49). " You 
shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon 
you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem and 
in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part 
of the earth " (Acts i. 8). 

(d] Whilst the synoptic Gospels chiefly describe the St 
universal propagation and first diffusion of the doctrine of 
Christ, St. John, the fourth Evangelist, points out especially 
the unity, conservation, and application of the doctrine. 
He narrates, as the last act of our Lord, the appointment 
of a permanent visible Head of the Church. St. Peter is 
chosen to take the place of Christ, with power to feed 
mankind with the bread of doctrine (xxi. 15-17), and to 
lead them in the light of truth. The apostolic organism 
thus receives a firm centre and a permanent consistency. 
The abiding and invisible assistance of Christ announced 
in St. Matthew to the members of the Apostolate is here 
visibly embodied in His supreme representative to whom 

22 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. IT. it was especially promised (Matt. xvi. 17-19 ; Luke xxii. 

9 3 r 3 2 )- Moreover, the very figure of a shepherd feeding 

his lambs and sheep contains an allusion to the authority 

and sanction of the promulgation of the Word (cf. John 

x. 1 1 sqq. ; Ps. xxii. ; Ezech. xxxiv. 23). 

Thus the last Evangelist comes back to the point from 
which St. Matthew started : " All power is given to Me 
in Heaven and on earth." The mission of the A postdate 
is an emanation from and a continuation of the mission 
of Christ, and consequently the functions of both are 
described in similar terms. Our Lord Himself is spoken 
of as a Doctor and Master, teaching as one having power 
(Mark i. 22) ; a Preacher of the Gospel sent by God to 
man (Luke iv. 16-21) ; a Witness, giving testimony to what 
He saw with the Father (John viii. 14-18); and, lastly 
as the Shepherd of the sheep (John x. n). 

Our Lords 2. The beautiful picture of the institution of the 
L7ri^?ng. Apostolate given at the end of the Gospel narratives is 
brought out more clearly when viewed side by side with 
the previous teaching of our Lord. 

The mission described in Matt, xxviii. is represented 
in John xvii. 17, 18, as a continuation of the mission of 
Christ Himself: "Sanctify them in truth: Thy word is 
truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, I also have 
sent them into the world." Moreover the coercive 
authority spoken of by St. Matthew and St. Mark is 
mentioned by St. Luke x. 16 (cf. John xiii. 20 ; Matt. x. 
40) on the occasion of the first preparatory mission of the 
seventy-two disciples. " He that heareth you heareth Me ; 
and he that despiseth you despiseth Me ; and he that 
despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me." And the 
promise of the Holy Ghost, Who, according to St. Luke's 
narrative, was to support and strengthen the testimony 
of the Apostles, is made at great length in St. John's 
account of our Lord's discourse at the Last Supper, in 
which the duration, importance, and efficacy of the Holy 
Ghost's assistance are declared. "And I will ask the 
Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He 
may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of truth, Whom 
the world cannot receive : 4 . but you shall know Him ; 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 23 

because He shall abide with you, and shall be in you " CHAP. n. 
(xiv. 16, 17). "These things have I spoken to you, abiding 
with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, Whom the 
Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, 
and bring all things into your mind, whatsoever I shall 
have said to you " (ibid., 25, 26). " But when the Paraclete 
cometh, Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit 
of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give 
testimony of Me : and you shall give testimony, because 
you are with Me from the beginning " (xv. 26, 27). " When 
He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach [6So7/jo-et] 
you all truth" (xvi. 13). It is plain that these promises 
were made to the Apostles as future propagators of the 
Faith, and the stress laid upon the functions of the Holy 
Ghost as the Spirit of truth, as Teacher and Witness, as 
Keeper of and Guide to the truth, is intended to show that 
the transmission of Revelation was to be endowed with all 
the qualifications required for its object, and especially 
with infallibility. Lastly, the Pastor appointed by Christ 
(John xxi. 15-17) had been previously designated as being 
strengthened in Faith in order to confirm his brethren, and 
as the rock which was to be the indestructible foundation 
of the Church (Luke xxii. 31, 32 ; Matt. xvi. 18). 

These passages taken together may be summarized as Summary, 
follows. After accomplishing His own mission, Jesus 
Christ, in virtue of His absolute power and authority, sent 
into the world a body of teachers and preachers, presided 
over by one Head. They were His representatives, and 
had for their mission to publish to the world all revealed 
truth until the end of time. Their mission was not ex- 
clusively personal it was to extend to their successors. 
Mankind were bound to receive them as Christ Himself. 
That their word might be His word, and might be recog- 
nized as such, He promised them His presence and the aid 
of the Holy Ghost to guarantee the infallibility of their 
doctrine ; He promised external and supernatural signs as 
vouchers for its authenticity; finally, He gave their doctrine 
an effective sanction by holding out an eternal reward to 
those who should faithfully adhere to it, and by threatening 
with eternal punishment those who should reject it. 

24 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. ii. This summary is a complete answer to certain diffi- 
*fll 9 ' culties drawn from detached texts of Holy Scripture, and 
likewise fills up the gaps in isolated passages. The picture 
we have drawn corresponds exactly, even in minute details, 
with the theory of the Catholic Church on the Apostolate. 
Certain points, as, for instance, the infallibility of the 
Apostolate in matters indirectly connected with Revelation, 
are at least implicitly and virtually contained in the texts 
quoted. There is even reason to maintain that the words, 
"He shall lead you into all truth " (John xvi. 13), imply 
the promise of the infallible guidance of the Holy Ghost 
in all truths necessary to the Church. It should also be 
noted that, although these passages, as a whole, apply to 
the future of the Christian dispensation, some of them 
apply chiefly to its commencement, e.g. the signs and 
wonders, and the ocular evidence of the Apostles. The 
transitory elements can, however, be easily distinguished, 
and are therefore no argument against the perpetuity of 
the essential elements required for the permanent object 
of Revelation the salvation of all mankind. 

II. Proof from the writings of the Apostles. 

The writings of the Apostles represent the Apostolate 
as an accomplished fact, destined to endure in all its 
essential elements until the end of time 

St. Paul. i. The theory is set forth especially in Rom. x. 8-19 

and Eph. iv. 7-14. In the former passage, St. Paul insists 
on the necessity and importance of the apostolic preaching 
as the ordinary means of transmitting the doctrine of Christ. 
" The word is nigh thee [i.e. all men, Jews and Gentiles], 
even in thy mouth, and in thy heart. This is the word 
of faith which we preach. For, if thou confess with thy 
mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God 
hath raised Him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved. . . . 
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall 
be saved. How then shall they call on Him in Whom 
they have not believed ? Or how shall they believe Him 
of Whom they have not heard ? And how shall they hear 
without a preacher ? And how shall they preach unless 
they be sent ? . . . Faith then cometh by hearing, and 
hearing by the word of Christ [as preached by those who 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 25 

have been sent]. . . . But I say, Have they not heard? Yes CHAP. n. 
verily, their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and E ^. g - 
their words unto the ends of the whole world." " But all 
do not obey the Gospel [preached by the Apostles], for 
Isaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report ? " In 
writing to the Ephesians the Apostle describes how the 
organic body of living teachers is by its manifold functions 
the means designed by God to produce the unity, firmness, 
and security of the universal Faith. He speaks more 
particularly about the organization of the Apostolate, as 
it existed in his own day, when the Apostles were still 
living, and the extraordinary graces (charismata) were 
still in full operation. His description is not that of the 
ordinary organization, which was to endure for all ages, 
but, in spite of this, it is plain that what he says of the 
importance of the earlier form, may also be applied to that 
which was to come. " And He gave some apostles, and 
some prophets, and other some evangelists [both graces 
peculiar to the first epoch], and other some pastors and 
doctors [this alludes to the ordinary teachers, the bishops 
appointed by the Apostles] for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body 
of Christ, until we all meet together into the unity of faith, 
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, 
unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ : that 
henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and 
carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wicked- 
ness of men, by cunning craftiness by which they lie in 
wait to deceive" (Eph. iv. 11-15). The Apostles were the 
foundation of the whole organization ; after their death 
their place was taken by the successor of St. Peter, to 
whom the other pastors stand in the same relation as the 
first bishops stood to the Apostles. 

2. In practice, the Apostles announced the Gospel, and The practice 
carried on the work of their ministry ; they represented Apostles, 
themselves as the ambassadors of Christ (Rom. i. 5 ; xv. 
1 8 ; i Cor. ii. 16 ; iii. 9, etc.), and, above all, as witnesses 
sent to the people by God ; they proved the Divinity of 
their mission by signs and wonders, as Christ promised 
them (i Cor. ii. 4 ; 2 Cor, xii. 12 ; i Thess. i. 5, etc.) ; they 

26 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. ii. demanded for the word of God. to which they bore 

SECT. 9. ... 

authentic and authoritative witness, the obedience of Faith 

r) TT/OTEWC, Rom. i. 5), and claimed the power and the 
right to enforce respect for it : " For the weapons of our 
warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling 
down of fortifications, destroying counsels (Aoyto-^ioi/e), and 
every height that exalteth itself against the knowledge of 
God, and bringing into captivity every understanding unto 
the obedience of Christ, and having in readiness to revenge 
all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled " 
(2 Cor. x. 4-6). They apply the sanction established by 
Christ, " He that believeth not shall be condemned," and 
themselves pronounce the sentence. " But though we, or 
an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that 
which we have preached to you, let him be anathema" 
(Gal. i. 8). 

The mode of promulgation, in its essentials, was to be 
permanent, and not to cease with the Apostles, as may 
be gathered from the principles laid down by St. Paul 
(Rom. x.) and from the fact that the Apostles appointed 
successors to themselves to watch over and keep the 
doctrine entrusted to them. " Hold the form of sound 
words which thou hast heard of me . . . Keep the good 
thing committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost Who 
dwelleth in us" (2 Tim. i. 13, 14). They add the com- 
mandment to appoint further successors with the same 
charge. " The things which thou hast heard of me by 
many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men who 
shall be fit to teach others also" (2 Tim. ii. 2). The prac- 
tical application of this system is thus described by St. 
Clement of Rome, the disciple of the Apostles : " Christ 
was sent by God, and the Apostles by Christ. Therefore 
they went forth with the full persuading power of the 
Holy Ghost, announcing the coming of the kingdom of 
God. Through provinces and in towns they preached the 
word, and appointed the first fruits thereof, duly tried by 
the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of them that 
should believe. . . . They appointed the above-named, 
and then gave them command that when they came to die 
other approved men should succeed to their ministry" 
(E-p. i. ad Cor., nn. 42, 44^ 

PABT I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 2 7 

This proof from Scripture by no means presupposes CHAP. IL 
the inspiration of the books of the New Testament ; it 
is enough for our present purpose to assume that they are 
authentic narratives. We thus do not fall into the vicious 
circle of proving the Apostolate from the inspired books, 
and the Inspiration of the books from the Apostolate. 
Nor do we make use of the authority of the Church in 
interpreting the texts. Their meaning is sufficiently 
manifest without any such help. 
III. Historical proofs. 

But we have historical proofs of unimpeachable 
character that already, in the first centuries, the Catholic 
Rule was held by the Fathers. St. Irenaeus, Origen, and 
Tertullian taught that, in consequence of the mission 
given to the Apostles, their successors preached the word 
with authenticity and authority ; that the preaching of 
these successors infallibly reproduced the preaching of the 
Apostles ; that, consequently, Ecclesiastical Tradition was 
to be followed, notwithstanding any private appeal to Holy 
Scripture or to any other historical documents. 

i. St. Irenaeus insists upon these points against the St. irenzus 
Gnostics, who appealed to Scripture or to private historical 

(a) He insists upon the existence and importance of 
the mission of the Apostles, and also upon the succession 
in the Apostolate : " Therefore in every church there is, for 
all those who would fain see the truth, at hand to look 
unto, the tradition of the Apostles made manifest through- 
out the whole world ; and we have it in our power to 
enumerate those who were by the Apostles instituted 
Bishops in the churches, and the successors of those Bishops 
down to ourselves, none of whom either taught or knew 
anything like unto the wild opinions of these men. For if 
the Apostles had known any hidden mysteries, which they 
apart and privately taught the perfect only, they would 
have delivered them before all others to those to whom 
they entrusted even the very churches. For they sought 
that they whom they left as successors, delivering unto 
them their own post of government, should be especially 
perfect and blameless in all things." He then demon- 

28 A Mamial of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

CHAP. ii. strates the continuity of succession in the church of 
- Rome : " But as it would be a very long task to enumerate, 
in such a volume as this, the successions of all the 
churches ; pointing out that tradition which the greatest 
and most ancient and universally known church of Rome 
founded and constituted by the two most glorious 
Apostles Peter and Paul derives from the Apostles, and 
that faith announced to all men, which through the succes- 
sion of (her) Bishops has come down to us, we confound all 
those who in any way, whether through self-complacency 
or vain-glory, or blindness and perverse opinion, assemble 
otherwise than as behoveth them. For to this church, on 
account of more potent principality, it is necessary that 
every church, that is, those who are on every side faithful, 
resort, in which (church) ever, by those who are on every 
side, has been preserved that tradition which is from the 
Apostles. . . . By this order and by this succession both 
that tradition which is in the Church from the Apostles, 
and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. 
And this is a most complete demonstration that the vivify- 
ing faith is one and the same, which from the Apostles 
even until now, has been preserved in the Church and 
transmitted in truthfulness." After mentioning other 
disciples and successors of the Apostles, he continues : 
" Wherefore, since there are such proofs to show, we ought 
not still to seek amongst others for truth which it is easy 
to receive from the Church, seeing that the Apostles have 
brought together most fully into it, as into a rich repository, 
all whatever is of truth, that every one that willeth may 
draw out of it the drink of life. . . . But what if the 
Apostles had not left us writings : would it not have been 
needful to follow the order of that tradition which they 
delivered to those to whom they committed the churches 
an ordinance to which many of the barbarian nations who 
believe in Christ assent, having salvation written, without 
paper and ink, by the Spirit, in their hearts, and sedulously 
guarding the old tradition?" {Adv. Hceres., 1. iii., 3, 4). 

(b} Irenaeus then shows that the preaching of the 
Apostles, continued by their successors, contains a super- 
natural guarantee of infallibility through the indwelling of 

PART l.] The Transmission of Revelation. 29 

the Holy Ghost. "The public teaching of the Church is CHAP. n. 
everywhere uniform and equally enduring, and testified - ' 
unto by Prophets and by Apostles, and by all the disciples, 
as we have demonstrated, through the first and inter- 
mediate and final period, and through the whole economy 
of God and that accustomed operation relative to the 
salvation of man, which is in our faith, which, having 
received from the Church, we guard (quam pcrceptam ab 
ccdesia custodimus] ; and which by the Spirit of God is 
ever in youthful freshness, like something excellent 
deposited in a beautiful vase, making even the very vase, 
wherein it is, seem newly formed (fresh with youth). For 
this office of God has been entrusted to the Church, as 
though for the breathing of life into His handiwork, unto 
the end that all the members that partake may be vivified ; 
in this [office], too, is disposed the communication of Christ, 
that is, the Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruption, the 
ladder whereby to ascend unto God. For in the Church, 
saith he, God hath placed Apostles, prophets, doctors, and 
every other work of the Spirit, of which all they are not 
partakers who do not hasten to the Church, but by their 
evil sentiment and most flagrant conduct defraud them- 
selves of life. For where the Church is, there is the Spirit 
of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is the ChurcJi 
and every grace : but the Spirit is truth. Wherefore they 
who do not partake of that [Spirit] are neither nourished 
unto life from a mother's breasts, nor see the most clear 
spring which proceeds from Christ's body ; but dig unto 
themselves broken cisterns out of earthy trenches, and out 
of the filth drink foul water, fleeing from the faith of the 
Church lest they be brought back ; but rejecting the Spirit 
that they may not be instructed " (lib. Hi., c. 24). 

(c] Lastly, Irenaeus links together the Apostolic Succes- 
sion and the supernatural guarantee of the Holy Ghost. 
" Wherefore we ought to obey those presbyters who are 
in the Church, those who have a succession from the 
Apostles, as we have shown ; who, with the succession 
of the episcopate, have received according to the good will 
of the Father the sure gift of truth ; but the rest who 
depart from the principal succession, and assemble in any 

30 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

"SECT" H ' P' ace whatever, we ought to hold suspected either as 
heretics and of an evil opinion, or as schismatics and 
proud, and as men pleasing themselves ; or, again, as 
hypocrites doing this for gain's sake and vain-glory. . . . 
Where, therefore, the gifts of God are placed, there we 
ought to learn the truth, [from those] with whom is that 
succession of the Church which is from the Apostles ; and 
that which is sound and irreprovable in conversation and 
unadulterated and incorruptible in discourse, abides. For 
they both guard that faith of ours in one God, Who made 
all things, and increase our love towards the Son of God, 
Who made such dispositions on our account, and they 
expound to us the Scriptures without danger, neither 
uttering blasphemy against God, nor dishonouring the 
patriarchs nor contemning the prophets " (lib. iv. 26). 

Origen. 2. Origen, in the preface to his work De Principiis, states 

the principle of the Apostolate in the Church in the following 
pregnant terms : " There being many who fancy that they 
think the things of Christ, and some of them think differ- 
ently from those who have gone before, let there be pre- 
served the ecclesiastical teaching which, transmitted by the 
order of succession from the Apostles, remains even to 
the present day in the churches : that alone is to be 
believed to be truth which in nothing differs from the 
ecclesiastical and apostolical tradition." And comment- 
ing on Matt. xxiv. 23, he says, " As often as they 
[heretics] bring forward canonical Scriptures in which 
every Christian agrees and believes, they seem to say, 
' Behold in the houses is the word of truth.' But we are 
not to credit them ; nor to go out from the first and the 
ecclesiastical tradition ; nor to believe otherwise than 
according as the churches of God have by succession 
transmitted to us. ... The truth is like the lightning 
which goeth out from the east and appeareth even into 
the west ; such is the truth of the Church of God ; for 
from it alone the sound hath gone forth into all the earth, 
and their words unto the ends of the world." 

Tertuiiian. 3. TertulHan treats of this subject in his well-known 

work De Prtescriptionibus. " [Heretics] put forward the 
Scriptures and by this their boldness they forthwith 

P\RT I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 31 

move some persons ; but in the actual encounter they CHAP, n 

1 ' SKCT. 9. 

weary the strong, catch the weak, send away the wavering 
anxious. We therefore interpose this first and foremost 
position : that they are not to be admitted to any dis- 
cussion whatever touching the Scriptures. If these be 
those weapons of strength of theirs, in order that they 
may possess them, it ought to be seen to whom the pos- 
session of the Scriptures belongs, lest he may be admitted 
to it to whom it in no wise belongs. . . . Therefore there 
must be no appeal to the Scriptures, nor must the contest 
be constituted in these, in which the victory is either none 
or doubtful, or too little doubtful. For even though the 
debate on the Scriptures should not so turn out as to 
confirm each party, the order of things required that this 
question should be first proposed, which is now the only 
one to be discussed, 'JTo^whom belongs the faitft itg e ^4 
whose are the Scriptures; by whom, and through whom, 
and when and to whom was that rule delivered whereby 
men ^became Christians?' for wherever both the true 
Christian rule and faith shall be shown to be, there will be 
the true Scriptures and the true expositions and ail the 
true Christian traditions" (nn. 15, 19). 

IV. The Divine legitimation of the Apostolate. 

A strong argument in favour of the Divine origin of the 
Apostolate, stronger even than the proof from the Holy 
Scriptures and early Fathers, may be drawn from its actual 
existence and working in the Catholic Church. 

If the power over the human mind and the infallible 
possession of Divine truth claimed by the Catholic hierarchy 
did not really come from God, the claim would be a horrible 
blasphemy, and the hierarchy would be the work of the 
devil. But if this were the case, it would be impossible for 
the Church to do all the good which she does, to contribute 
so wonderfully to the sanctification of mankind, and to be 
so constantly and so energetically attacked by the enemies 
of Christ. God would be bound to oppose and extirpate 
this monster of deception, which pretends to be the work 
of His hands and to be guided by His Spirit. He could 
not allow it to prevail so long, so universally, with such 
renown and success among the very best of mankind. But, 

32 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP, ii far from doing this, God marvellously supports the Apos- 
tolate and confirms its authority from time to time by 
supernatural manifestations. These, of course, demon- 
strate the Divine origin of the Church as a whole, but 
they also demonstrate the Divine origin of the Apostolate 
which is the means of communicating the Faith which 
the Church professes. 

SECT. 10. Organization of the Teaching Apostolate Its 
Relations witJi the two Powers and the two Hierarchical 
Orders instituted by Christ. 

The usual place to treat of the Organization of the 
Teaching Apostolate is in the treatise on the Constitution 
of the Church. For our present purpose, however, which 
is to show to whom and in what manner belongs the right 
to expound and propose Revelation, it will be sufficient to 
give a clear notion of the two hierarchical powers. 
JfOrde er ^ The power to teach is vested by right, as well as by 
the institution of Christ, in those same dignitaries who are 
appointed to be the instruments of the Holy Ghost for the 
communication of His grace to mankind (potestas ordinis] 
and who are the representatives of Christ for the govern- 
The power ment of His kingdom upon earth (jpotestas jurisdictionis) 
tion. in a word, the Apostolate belongs to the Hierarchy. But 

the Apostolate is not only intimately connected with the 
two above-named functions of the Hierarchy : it is also 
itself an hierarchical function. As such, its value and im- 
portance depend on the rank held by the members of the 
Hierarchy by right either of ordination or of jurisdiction. 
The Apostolate is not, however, an independent hierarchical 
function. It springs from and forms an essential part of 
the other two. To enlighten the mind with heavenly truth 
and to generate Faith are acts belonging to the very nature 
of the Power of Orders, inasmuch as in this way the gifts 
of the vivifying Spirit are dispensed. And the same may 
be said of the Power of Jurisdiction, for the noblest part 
of this power is to feed the flock of Christ on Faith, and so 
to guide it to salvation. 

func'bnspf II. We have already distinguished two functions of the 
Biy each1 "* Apostolate : d) the authentic witnessing to the doctrine 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 33 

of Christ, and (2) the authoritative enforcement of it. The CHAP, n 

SECT. i<x 

first element belongs to the Power of Orders, the second 
to the Power of Jurisdiction. 

I. The act of witnessing to the doctrine of Christ is not witnessing 
in itself an act of jurisdiction, but rather, as being a com- the Power oi 
munication of grace and of supernatural life, belongs to the 
Power of Orders. The function of this power is to transmit 
the Grace of Christ, especially the grace of Faith, while the 
Apostolate transmits the truth of Christ and provides the 
subject-matter of the act of Faith. The members of 
the Hierarchy invested with the power of communicating 
the gifts of Grace in general and the gift of Faith in par- 
ticular, are therefore also the instruments of the Holy 
Ghost in communicating the doctrine of Faith. The grace 
which they receive in their ordination consecrates them for 
and entitles them to both functions, so that they are, in a 
twofold sense, " the dispensers of the mysteries of God." 
Hence the witnesses of the Apostolate, which was instituted 
to produce supernatural Faith, are invested with a super- 
natural character, a public dignity, and a power based upon 
an intimate union with the Holy Ghost. They represent 
the testimony of the Holy Ghost promised by Christ, 
because they are the instruments of the Holy Ghost. They 
cannot, however, individually claim infallibility, as will 
presently be shown. 

The Power of Orders has different degrees which con- The two 

ITT- 1 r ^ i T> t < i i Hierarchical 

stitute the Hierarchy of Orders, lo each of these degrees order*, 
belongs a corresponding share in the right and power to 
expound revealed doctrine. The High Priests (the Pon- 
tiffs or Priests of the first order, i.e. the Bishops) alone 
possess the fulness of the Power of Orders, and are by them- 
selves independent of any other order in the performance 
of their functions. Hence, in virtue of their Orders, the 
Bishops alone are, in a perfect sense, " Fathers of the 
Faithful," independent teachers and authentic witnesses in 
their own right. The subordinate members of the Hier- 
archy of Orders receive their orders from the Bishops, and 
are mere auxiliaries. Thus the Deacons are exclusively 
called to assist in the functions of the higher orders, and 
the Priests of the second order, i.e. simple Priests, in the 


34 -A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. n. ordinary sense of the word, act as the Bishop's assistants, 
and often with his positive co-operation. Their participa- 
tion in the Apostolate is limited, like their participation in 
the Power of Orders, and may be expressed in the same 

Enforcing 2. The act of imposing the doctrine of Christ, that is, 

juriXtfon*! of commanding adhesion to it, clearly appertains to the 
Power of Jurisdiction, especially to that branch of it which 
is called the Power of Teaching. Bishops, in virtue of their 
consecration, are called to the government of the Church ; 
but this does not of itself constitute them rulers of any par- 
ticular portion of the Christian flock, and therefore does 
not give them the right to command submission to their 
doctrinal utterances. This right is the result of, and is 
co-extensive with their jurisdiction, i.e. with their actual 
participation in the government of the Church. On the 
other hand, the right to act as authentic witnesses and as 
simple doctors, not imposing submission to their doctrine, 
is independent of their governing any flock, and may 
extend beyond the particular flock actually committed to 
their charge. 

In general, the power of authoritative teaching implies 
complete jurisdiction over the domain of doctrine, and 
therefore includes (i) the right of administration, which 
entitles the holder of it to use the external means neces- 
sary for the propagation of the doctrine, especially to send 
out authorized missionaries ; (2) the right of superin- 
tendence, together with the right of punishing, entitling 
the holder to forbid, prevent, or punish all external acts 
opposed to the propagation of the true doctrine ; (3) 
judicial and legislative powers, including the right of 
prescribing external acts relating to the Faith, but having 
for their principal function the juridical and legal definition 
and prescription of the Faith. This last is the highest 
exercise of authoritative teaching, because it affects the 
innermost convictions of the mind ; it is eminently Divine 
and supernatural, like the exercise of jurisdiction in the 
Sacrament of Penance, and like this, too, it implies that 
the holder represents Christ in a very special manner. 

The right of authoritative teaching has various degrees. 

PART I.] The 7*ransmission of Revelation. 35 

Simple Bishops, placed over only a portion of the Christian 
flock, possess only a partial and subordinate, and hence 
an imperfect and dependent, Power of Teaching. The 
Chief of the Episcopate, as Pastor of the entire flock, alone 
possesses the universal and sovereign, and hence complete 
and independent, Power of Teaching, to which the Bishops 
themselves must submit. The difference between his 
power and theirs appears most strikingly in the legal force 
of their respective doctrinal decisions. The Pope's decisions, 
as Christ's chief judge upon earth, alone have the force 
of laws, binding generally ; whereas those given by the 
Bishops have only the force of a judicial sentence, binding 
the parties in the suit. In matters of Faith Bishops can- 
not make any laws for their respective dioceses, because 
a law requiring assent to a truth cannot be more restricted 
than truth itself, and, moreover, a law of this kind must 
proceed from an infallible lawgiver. Universality and 
infallibility are not the attributes of individual Bishops, 
but of the Pope alone ; and therefore Bishops can make 
merely provisional laws for their own dioceses, subject to 
the approbation of the Sovereign Pontiff. It is not their 
business to give final decisions in controversies concerning 
the Faith, or to solve the doubts still tolerated in the Church 
their ministry is not even indispensable for these purposes. 
They are, indeed, judges empowered to decide whether a 
doctrine is in conformity with generally received dogma, 
but as individuals they cannot make a dogma or law of 
Faith. They wield the executive, not the legislative power. 
In short, although the Bishops are pre-eminently witnesses 
and doctors and, within certain limits, also judges of the 
Faith, yet their Head, the Pope, has the distinctive attri- 
butes of supreme promulgator of doctrine, universal 
judge in matters of Faith, arbiter in controversies of Faith, 
and " Father and Teacher of all Christians " (Council of 

SECT. ii. Organization of the Apostolate (continued], 
Organization of the Teaching Body. 

On the basis of what has been laid down in the fore- 
going section, we now proceed to treat of the organization 

36 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 1. 

CHAP. n. of the members of the Apostolate, the allotment among 

SECT. ii. .... . 

them of apostolic powers and privileges, and more espe- 
cially of the gift of infallibility. 

It is manifest that there exists for the purposes of the 
Apostolate a number of different organs adjusted together 
so as to form one well-ordered whole, the several members 
of which share, according to their rank, in the various 
powers and privileges of the Apostolate. Taken in a wide 
sense, this body embraces all the members of the Church 
Teaching who in any way co-operate in the attainment 
of the ends of the Apostolate. In a narrower sense, how- 
ever, the Teaching Body is understood to consist only of 
the highest members of the Hierarchy of Orders, who are 
at the same time by Divine institution the ordinary 
members of the Hierarchy of Jurisdiction, viz. the Pope and 
the Bishops. In them the fulness of the Apostolate resides, 
whereas the lower members are only their auxiliaries. We 
shall treat first of the organization of the Teaching Body 
itself; then of its auxiliaries; and lastly of its connection 
with the body of the Faithful. 

raiding I. The principles which determine the composition of 

pnnapes. ^j^ Teaching Body are the following : 

1. The first object to be attained by means of the Apos- 
tolate is the universal diffusion of Revelation, paving the 
way for supernatural Faith. For this purpose a number 
of consecrated jOj^an5__af._th. Holy Ghost are required, to 
be authentic witnesses and teachers. As representatives 
of Christ, they must be endowed with a doctrinal authority 
corresponding to their rank, and must have power to 
appoint auxiliaries and to superintend and direct the Faith 
of their subjects. 

2. The second object of the Apostolate is to produce 
unity of Faith and doctrine. To accomplish this, one 
supreme representative of Christ is required, to preside 
over the whole organization, and to possess a universal and 
sovereign doctrinal power. 

3. The unity resulting from this sovereign power is three- 
fold : material unity of the Teaching Body, consisting in 
the juridical union of the members with their Head, in 
virtue of which they have and hold their functions a 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 37 

unity resulting from the administrative power of their CJIAP.JI. 
Head ; harmonic and external unity in the activity of the 
members, arising from the power of superintendence ; and 
formal and intrinsic unity of doctrine and Faith, produced 
by authoritative definition. 

4. The unity of the Teaching Body is not that of a lifeless 
machine but of a living organism. Each member is formed ^j_ 
to the likeness of the Head by God Himself, Who gives 
life to Head and members alike through the action of 
the Holy Ghost. 

II. The original members of the Apostolate chosen by The original 


Christ Himself for the fundamental promulgation and pro- 
pagation of the Gospel possessed the attributes of the 
Apostolate in an eminent degree. This was necessary in 
view of the objects they had to attain. Their superiority 
over their successors appears in the authenticity of the 
testimpny of each of them taken individually, in the 
authoritative power to teach conferred uponjdl of them 
and not restricted to the chief Apostle, and lastly in the 
personal infallibility of every one of them. As they were 
the first witnesses of the doctrine of Christ they were not 
only the channels but also the sources of the Faith of 
every age, and therefore it was necessary that their testi- 
mony should be endowed with a special internal and ex- 
ternal perfection. The internal perfection arose from the 
fact of their being eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses of the 
whole Revelation, and of their being so filled with the 
Holy Ghost that each of them possessed a complete and 
infallible knowledge of revealed doctrine ; while the ex- 
ternal perfection was the gift of miracles, by which they 
were enabled to confirm the authenticity of their testimony. 
Again, the Apostles were to give an efficient support to 
their Chief who was to be the permanent foundation of, 
the Church in the original establishment of the kingdom 
of God upon earth, and particularly in the original pro- 
mulgation of Christian truth. Each of them therefore 
received the same authority to teach as their Chief, although 
it was not purely and simply a sovereign authority. And, 
lastly, their infallibility was a necessary consequence of the 
authenticity of their testimony and the assistance of the 
Holy Ghost. 

38 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. ii. This view of the eminent character of the Apostolatc 

SECT. n. ...... , . . 

as possessed by its original members is proved more by 
their conduct than by positive texts of Scripture. Besides, 
it is and always has been the view held by the whole 

TheEpisco- HI- As soon as the original and fundamental pro- 
pate " mulgation of the Gospel was complete there was no longer 

any necessity for the extraordinary Apostolate. Another 
object had now to be obtained : the conservation and 
consolidation of the apostolic doctrine in the Church. 
The place of the extraordinary Apostolate was taken by 
the Episcopate, i.e. the body of the ordinary members of the 
hierarchy established for the transmission of the grace and 
truth of Christ and the government of the Church. This 
Episcopal Apostolate is a continuation of the primitive 
Apostolate, and must therefore be derived from the 
Apostles ; it must also in its nature and organization be 
homogeneous with the original, and yet at the same time 
must in some respects be different. The doctrinal and other 
personal and extraordinary powers of the Apostles ceased 
at their death. Their Head, in whom these powers were 
ordinary, alone transmitted them to his successors. In 
these, then, is invested the power of completing and per- 
petuating the Teaching Body by admitting into it new and 
duly authorized members. The Sovereign_Ppntiffs are the 
bond that unites the Bishops among themselves and^con- 
nects them uninterruptedly with the primitive Apostolate. 
The Popes thus represent the original apostolic power in 
an eminent degree, wherefore their see is called emphati- 
cally the Apostolic See. 

TheEpis- IV. The Apostolate has still, on the whole, the same 

thes^r 5 objects as it originally had, and consequently must still be 

^primitive so constituted that it can give authentic and authoritative 

testimony ; in other words, it must possess infallibility in 

doctrinal matters. Although ihis infallibility is no longer 

found in the individual members, nevertheless it can and 

ought to result from the unanimous testimony of the whole 

body. It ought, because otherwise universal Faith would 

be impossible ; nay, universal heresy might take its place. 

It can, and as a matter of fact does, result, because the assis- 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 39 

tance of the Holy Ghost cannot be wanting to the Teaching CHAP. IL 

. & SECT. xi. 

Body as a whole, and the unanimous consent of all its 
members is a sure token that they reproduce the testimony 
of the Spirit of truth. Personal infallibility as a witness 
cannot be claimed even by the Chief of the Episcopate any 
more than by the subordinate members. Nevertheless 
when he pronounces a sovereign judgment in matters of 
Revelation, binding upon all, teachers as well as taught, he 
can and ought to be infallible. He ought, because other- 
wise the unity of Faith might turn into a unity of heresy. 
He can be, and in fact is infallible, because the Holy Ghost, 
the Guide of all Christ's representatives, cannot abandon 
the highest representative precisely in that very act which 
is the most essential expression of His assistance, and 
which in case of error would lead the whole Church astray. 
And, a fortiori, when the Head and the members of the 
Teaching Body are unanimous, their testimony is infallible. 
However, taken apart from the testimony of their Head, 
the testimony of even all the Bishops would not constitute 
an obligatory doctrinal definition, but simply a strong pre- 
sumption. The Sovereign Pontiff alone can pronounce 
such a definition by reason of his universal jurisdiction, 
and then only in that exercise of it which enforces the 
unity of Faith in the whole Church. 

V. The two Apostolates, or rather the two forms of the Howthctwo 
Apostolate, must however have certain points of difference, 
as indeed may be gathered from what has just been said. 
The Bishops are not, as the Apostles were, immediately 
chosen by Christ, but are selected by members of the 
Church. In the case of the Chief Bishop the person is 
designated by the members and then receives, not indeed 
from them but directly and immediately from Christ, 
the powers inherent in his office ; the other Bishops are 
appointed to a particular see by the Chief Bishop, and 
receive their jurisdiction from him. Besides, he alone 
inherits the fulness of the Apostolate. Moreover, if we 
consider the authenticity of the testimony of the Bishops 
we must hold that the office of witness is conferred upon 
them directly by Christ in the sacrament of Orders ; their 
admission to the office by the Sovereign Pontiff is merely 

4O A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK l. 

CHAP. ii. a condition required for its lawful exercise. Nevertheless 

SECT. 12. . 

they are not eye and ear witnesses of what they teach. 
They gather their knowledge from intermediate witnesses 
or from the written documents, and do not possess indi- 
vidually the gift of infallibility. 

The infallibility of the Church assumes a twofold form, 
corresponding with the twofold action of the Holy Ghost 
as Lord and Life-giver. As Lord, He gives infallibility to 
the governing Chief: as Life-giver, He bestows it on the 
entire Body, Head and members. The infallibility of the 
Head is required to produce universal unity of Faith ; 
the infallibility of the Body is required to prevent a dis- 
astrous conflict between the Body and its Head, and also 
to deliver the mass of the Faithful from the danger of 
being led astray by their ordinary teachers in cases where 
no decision has been given by the Holy See. The two 
forms, moreover, support and strengthen each other mutu- 
ally, and prove the Apostolate to be a masterpiece of that 
Divine Wisdom "which reacheth from end to end mightily 
and disposeth all things sweetly" (Wisd. viii. i). 

SECT. 12. Organization of the Apostolate (continued) The 
Auxiliary Members of the Teaching Body. 

The Teaching Body is a living organism, and conse- 
quently has the power of producing auxiliary members 
to assist in its work, and of conferring upon them the 
credentials required for their different functions. These 
auxiliary members may be divided into two classes: (i) 
auxiliaries of the Bishops, and (2) auxiliaries of the Chief 

The auxin- I. The ordinary auxiliaries of the Episcopate are the 
e priests and deacons. They receive their orders arid their 
jurisdiction from the Bishops, and hold an inferior rank in 
the Hierarchy. Their position as regards the office of 
teaching, though far below that of the Bishops, is never- 
theless important. They are the official executive organs 
of the Bishops, their missionaries and heralds for the 
promulgation of doctrine. They have a special know- 
ledge of doctrine, and they receive, by means of the sacra- 
ment of Holy Orders, a share in the teaching office of 

I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 41 

the Bishops, and in the doctrinal influence of the Holy CHAP, n 
Ghost. Hence their teaching possesses a peculiar value E fl_ 12 - 
and dignity, which may, however, vary with their per- 
sonal qualifications. Moreover the Bishops should, under 
certain circumstances, consult them in matters of doctrine, 
not, indeed, to receive direction from them, but in order to 
obtain information. When we remember the immense 
influence exercised by the uniform teaching of the clergy 
over the unity of Faith, we may fairly say that they par- 
ticipate in the infallibility of the Episcopate both extrinsi- 
cally and intrinsically : extrinsically, because the universal 
consent of all the heralds is an external sign that they 
reproduce the exact message of the Holy Ghost ; and 
intrinsically, inasmuch as by their ordination they obtain 
a share in the assistance of the Spirit of Truth promised to 
the Church. 

When and where necessary, the Bishops have the power 
of erecting Schools or Seminaries for the religious or higher 
theological education of a portion of their flocks. The 
professors in these institutions are auxiliaries of the Bishops, 
and are, if possible, in still closer union with the Teaching 
Apostolate than the clergy engaged in the ministry. 

II. The Chief of the Episcopate, in virtue of his universal The pope's 
teaching authority, has the power of sending Missionaries Mission""' 
into regions beyond the bounds of the existing dioceses, Rdfgious 
and can also establish, even within the dioceses, Religious uLiverMtiei 
Orders as his own auxiliaries, subject immediately to him- 
self. He can also found Universities for the more profound 
and scientific study of Revelation. He can make all these 
persons and corporations comparatively independent of the 
Bishops, and invest them with a teaching authority analo- 
gous to that of the Episcopate. The Universities of the 
Middle Ages, for example, were not private, or state, or 
even episcopal institutions. They derived their mission 
from the Popes, together with the power of perpetuating 
themselves by the creation of doctors and professors, and 
the power of passing judgment on matters of doctrine. 
These decisions, however, did not carry with them any 
binding force, because their authors had no jurisdiction ; 
but they possessed a value superior to that of many epis- 

42 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. n. copal decisions. It is evident that the importance of the 

- Universities as representatives of the teaching of the Church 

depends upon their submission to the Apostolate, whose 

auxiliaries they are, and also upon the number, the personal 

qualifications, and influence of their members. 

individual Further, the Pope, in the exercise of his administra- 

Auxiliaries. . . ...... , r .1 ' c 

tive power, can invest individual members of the inferior 
clergy, either for a time or permanently, with authoritative 
teaching power. But, even in this case, they are only 
auxiliaries of the Episcopate, existing side by side with it ; 
as, for instance, Abbots exempt from episcopal jurisdiction 
(Abbates nullius) and the generals of Religious Orders, or 
acting as delegates of the sovereign teaching power of the 
Popes, e.g. the Cardinals and the Roman Congregations. 
All these auxiliaries, like those above mentioned, are assisted 
by the Holy Ghost, but their decisions acquire force of law 
only when confirmed by the Head of the Apostolate. 
Extra- in. From time to time the Holy Ghost raises certain 

ordinary J 

Auxiliaries, persons to an extraordinary degree of supernatural know- 
ledge. Their peculiar position gives them a special autho- 
rity as guides for all the members of the Church. They 
are not, however, exempt from the universal law that 
within the Church no teaching is of value unless approved 
by lawful authority. In so far, then, as it is evident that 
the Pope and the Bishops approve of the doctrine of 
these burning and shining lights, such doctrine is to be 
considered as an infallible testimony coming from the 
Holy Ghost. Thus, in Apostolic times, " Prophets and 
Evangelists" (Eph. iv. n) were given to the Apostles as 
extraordinary auxiliaries, not indeed for the purpose of 
enlightening the Apostles themselves, but to facilitate the 
diffusion and acceptance of their doctrine. In succeeding 
ages the Fathers and great Doctors have been of much use 
to the ordinary members of the Apostolate by helping 
them to a better knowledge of revealed truth. The func- 
tion of these auxiliaries must, however, be carefully dis- 
tinguished from those of the Prophets of the Old Testa- 
ment. The former are not the organs of new revelations, 
nor do they possess independent authority they are merely 
the extraordinary supports of the ordinary Teaching Body. 

TAUT I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 43 

" It is indeed a great matter and ever to be borne in mind CHAP. n. 
. . . that all Catholics should know that they should receive 
the doctors with the Church, not that they should quit the 
faith of the Church with the doctors (' se cum Ecclesia 
doctores recipere, non cum doctoribus Ecclesia^ fidem dese- 
rere debere ')." Vine, of Lerins, Common, n. 17. 

SECT. 13. Organization of the Apostolate (continued*} 
Organic Union between the Teaching Body and the 
Body of the Faithful. 

I. The Teaching Apostolate, with its auxiliaries on the Union 
one hand and the body of believers on the other, together Teachers 
constitute the Church. The union between them is not an 
mechanical, but is like the mutual union of the members 
of a living organism. To obtain a correct idea of the rela- 
tions between the two parts, we must bear in mind that 
infallibility and the other attributes granted to the Teaching 
Apostolate are intended only as means to secure an un- 
erring Faith in the entire community, and that the super- 
natural Faith of all the members, both teachers and taught, 
is the result of the influence of the Holy Ghost. From 
this we infer that the teachers and their hearers com- 
pose one indivisible, complete organism, in which the 
teachers figure as the principal members, the head and 
the heart ; that they constitute a homogeneous organism, 
because the teachers are at the same time believers, and 
because the belief of the Faithful is a testimony to and 
confirmation of the doctrines taught. They are an organism 
living supernaturally, because the Holy Ghost infuses into 
all the members the life of Faith by external teaching and 
internal grace. This union between teachers and taught 
likewise leads us to further consequences. The doctrine 
of Christ is manifested in two ways : in authoritative pro- 
position and in private belief. The latter form, being only 
an echo of the former, and, moreover, being the result of 
the action of the Holy Ghost, becomes in its turn a kind 
of testimony of doctrine. The private form reacts upon 
the public proposition and confirms it. The Faith of the 
whole Church cannot be wrong, and, therefore, what ail 
believe must infallibly be true, and must represent the 

44 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK L 

CHAP. ii. doctrine of Christ as well as do the teachings of the ADOS- 
SECT. 13. 

tolate. Nay, the external manifestations of the Holy Ghost 
may be seen especially in the Body of the Faithful, in its 
Martyrs and Confessors, and these manifestations consti- 
tute, in connection with the universal belief, a powerful 
motive of credibility. 

Explanation H. This notion of the organic character of the Church 
Theo'io^cai will enable us to understand many expressions met with 
expressions. in Theo i ogy) ^ the church Teaching " and the " Church 
Hearing " or " Learning ; " the " Mission and Authority 
of the Church," i.e. of the members of the Hierarchy ; 
the " Teaching Apostolate, or its Chief, represents the 
Church," i.e. not in the same way as a member of parlia- 
ment represents his constituents, but in the sense that 
the Faith of the Apostolate or of its Chief is a true ex- 
pression of the Faith of the whole Church. It has lately 
been said, " Infallibility belongs only to the Church, 
but the Hierarchy is not the Church, and therefore the 
Hierarchy is not infallible." We might just as well say, 
" Life belongs only to the body, but the head and heart 
are not the body, therefore the head and heart are not 
alive." This false notion originated either from a com- 
parison between the Hierarchy and the parliaments of con- 
stitutional States, or from the materialistic conception of 
authority according to the formula: "Authority is the 
result and sum-total of the power of the members taken 
individually, just as the total force of a material body 
is the result and sum-total of the energies of its parts." 
But, in truth, authority is a principle implanted in society 
by God in order to give it unity, life, and guidance. In 
order to give to the infallibility of the Church as broad 
a basis as possible, some well-meaning persons have adopted 
the materialistic view, and have made the universality and 
uniformity of the belief of the Faithful the chief motive of 
credibility. This theory, however, is naturalistic, and is 
opposed to the teaching of Scripture. Moreover, it is in- 
trinsically weak, for without the independent authority 
of the Teaching Apostolate and the assistance of the Holy 
Ghost, uniformity and universality could never be brought 
about, or at least could not last for any length of time. 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 45 

The attribute of infallibility belonging to the entire CHAP, n 
community of the Faithful manifests itself differently in 
its different parts. In the Teaching Body it is Active 
Infallibility, that is, inability to lead astray ; in the Body 
Taught it is Passive Infallibility that is, incapability of 
being led astray. 

SECT. 14. Organization of the Apostolate (concluded] 
External and Internal Indefectibility of Doctrine and 
Faith in the Church Recapitulation. 

I. Intimately connected with the infallibility of the indefecti- 
Church is her Indefectibility. There is, however, a differ- infallibility 
ence between the two. Infallibility means merely that what " 

the Church teaches cannot be false, whereas the notion of 
Indefectibility implies that the essentials of Revelation are 
at all times actually preached in the Church ; that non- 
essentials are proposed, at least implicitly, and are held 
habitually ; and that the inner, living Faith never fails. 
The Indefectibility of truth in the Church is less limited 
than the Infallibility. The perfection of the latter requires 
merely that no doctrine proposed for belief should be false, 
whereas the perfection of the former requires that all the 
parts of revealed doctrine should be actually, and at all 
times, expressed in the doctrine of the Church. Indefecti- 
bility admits of degrees, whereas a single failure, for a 
single day, on a single point of doctrine, on the part of the 
public teaching authority, would utterly destroy Infalli- 

II. The Indefectibility of the Teaching Body is at the Indef< . cti . 
same time a condition and a consequence of the Indefecti- TiacWn th * 
bility of the Church. A distinction must, however, be drawn 
between the Indefectibility of the Head and the Indefecti- 
bility of the subordinate members. The individual who 

is the Head may die, but the authority of the Head does 
not die with him it is transmitted to his successor. On 
the other hand, the Teaching Body as a whole could not 
die or fail without irreparably destroying the continuity of 
authentic testimony. Again, the Pope's authority would 
not be injured if, when not exercising it (extra judicium), 
he professed a false doctrine, whereas the authenticity of 

46 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

1 " ^ e e pi sc P a l testimony would be destroyed if under any 
circumstances the whole body fell into heresy, 
indefecti- HI. The Indefectibility of the Faith in individual 

F^'th m members is closely connected with the external and social 
individ, a-s. i nc ] e f ect ibility of the Church. The two stand to each 
as cause and effect, and act and react on each other. The 
interior Faith of individual members, even of the Pope and 
the Bishops, may fail ; but it is impossible for the Faith to 
fail in the whole mass. The Infallibility and Indefectibility 
of the Church and of the Faith require on the part of the 
Head, that by means of his legislative and judicial power 
the law of Faith should be always infallibly proposed ; but 
this does not require the infallibility and indefectibility of 
his own interior Faith and of his extrajudicial utterances. 
On the part of the Teaching Body as a whole, there is 
directly required merely that it should not fail collectively, 
which, of course, supposes that it does not err universally in 
its internal Faith. Lastly, on the part of the Body of the 
Faithful, it is directly and absolutely required that their 
inner Faith (sensus et virtus fidei] should never fail entirely, 
and also that the external profession should never be 
universally wrong. 

Summary. The whole doctrine of the Organization of the Teach- 

ing Apostolate may be summarized as follows. The 
teaching function bound up with the two fundamental 
powers of the Hierarchy, Orders and Jurisdiction, fulfils 
all the requirements and attains all the purposes for which 
it was instituted. It transmits and enforces Revelation, 
and brings about unity and universality of Faith. It is 
a highly developed organism, with the members acting 
in perfect harmony, wherein the Holy Ghost operates, 
and whereby He gives manifold testimony to revealed 
truth, at the same time upholding and strengthening the 
action of individuals by means of the reciprocal action 
and reaction of the different organs. Just as God spoke 
to our fathers through the Prophets before the coming of 
Christ, "at sundry times and in divers manners" (Heb. i. i), 
so now does Jesus Christ speak to us at sundry times and 
in divers manners in the Church " which is His body, and 
the fulness of Him Who is filled all in all " (Eph. i. 23). 

PART Lj The Transmission of Revelation. 47 


SECT. 15. Gradual Progress in the Transmission of Reve- SE f|: 15 - 
lation Apostolic Deposit : Ecclesiastical Tradition : 
Rule of Faith. 

I. The office-holders in the Teaching Apostolate form continuity 
one unbroken chain, derived from God, and consequently do* evela " 
the doctrine announced by them at any given time is a 
continuation and a development of the doctrine originally 
revealed, and is invested with the same Divine character 
Jesus Christ, the immediate Envoy of His Father, announced 
what He had heard from the Father ; the Apostles, the 
immediate envoys of Christ, preached what they had heard 
from Christ and the Holy Ghost ; the successors of the 
Apostles, the inheritors of the apostolic mission, in their 
turn taught and still teach the doctrine received from the 


Apostles, and thus Revelation has been handed down from 
generation to generation without a single break. 

The transmission and the teaching of Revelation are 
really one and the same act under two different aspects. 
Whenever the Word of God is announced, it is also trans- 
mitted, and it cannot be transmitted without being 
announced in some form or other. Thus transmission and 
publication are not two acts of a distinct nature, as they 
would be if Revelation was handed down only by means 
of a written document, or on merely historical evidence. 
The Council of Trent tells us that Traditions, " dictated by 
the Holy Ghost, have reached us from the Apostles, handed 
down as it were by hand," and it speaks of " Traditions 
preserved by continual succession in the Catholic Church" 
(sess. iv). The transmission is the work of living, author- 
ized officials, who hand down Revelation to the lawful 
heirs of their office. We must, however, distinguish between 
the authenticity and the authority of the act of trans- 
mission. When, for instance, a council makes the belief 
in some dogma obligatory, this act contains a twofold 
element : it bears authentic witness to the existence of the 
dogma in the Apostolic Deposit, and it authoritatively im- 
poses Faith in that dogma. The authentic testimony 
belongs to the whole Church, which, either in teaching or 
in professing belief, witnesses to the existence of certain 

48 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK r. 

CHAP. ii. truths, whereas the power of imposing the obligation of 
"fll 15 ' belief resides only in the governing body and its Head. 
But the word " Tradition " does not express any notion 
of " Faith made obligatory," but only of " Faith handed 
down by authentic witnesses." We shall therefore use the 
term in the latter sense, although, as a matter of fact, 
transmission and imposition usually go together. 
Three phase* II. Three phases, more or less divided by time, but 
t"o... evi ' still alike in their nature, may be observed in the develop- 
ment and gradual progress of the transmission of revealed 
doctrine : (i) The Apostles confiding the Deposit of Reve- 
lation to the Church with the obligation to continue its 
promulgation ; (2) The transmission of Revelation in and 
by means of the Church ; and (3) The enforcement of 
belief by the Rule of Faith imposed by the Chiefs of the 

Apo--toiic i. The Apostles were the original depositaries of Chris- 

Deposit. t - an Reve i at j 011) as we n as it s first heralds. They handed 
over to their successors the truths which they possessed, 
together with the powers corresponding to their mission, 
This first stage is called Apostolic Tradition, or Apostolic 
Deposit, the latter expression being derived from i Tim. 
vi. 20, "Keep that which is committed to thy trust" 
(depositum, irapaB{)Ki]v). All subsequent knowledge of 
Revelation is drawn from the Apostolic Deposit, which 
is consequently said to be the Source or Fount of Faith. 

The Apostolic Deposit was transmitted in a twofold 
form : by word of mouth and by writing. The New Testa- 
ment, although composed by the Apostles or their disciples, 
is not a mere reproduction of the Apostolic teaching. It 
was written at God's command by men under His inspira- 
tion, and therefore it is, like the Old Testament, an original 
and authentic document of Revelation. Both Testaments 
were, as we shall see, transmitted to the Church by an 
authoritative act of the Apostolate. The Apostolic Deposit 
comprises, therefore, the Old Testament, the New Testa- 
ment, and the oral teaching of the Apostles. By a process 
of desynonymization, the term " Deposit " has become re- 
stricted to the written Deposit, and the term " Tradition " 
to the oral teaching. 

PART I.] The Transmission of Revelation. 49 

2. It is the Church's office to hold and to transmit the CHAP. IL 

.... . . i SECT. 15. 

entire Deposit, written and oral, m its integrity, and to deal 
with it as the Apostles themselves would if they were still statical 
living. This action of the Church is called Active Tradi- 
tion ; the doctrines themselves are called Objective Tradi- 
tion. The term " Ecclesiastical Tradition " is sometimes 
used in a narrow sense for the unwritten truths of Revela- 
tion, and stands in the same relation to the Holy Scriptures 
as the oral teaching of the Apostles stood. In the course 
of time this Tradition has also been committed to writing, 
and as a written Tradition its position with regard to the 
living Active Tradition is now analogous to that occupied 
by the Holy Scriptures. 

3. But the Church has a further office. The heirs of Rule of 
the Apostles have the right and duty to prescribe, promul- 
gate, and maintain at all times and in behalf of the whole 
Church the teaching of the Apostles and of the Church in 
former ages ; to impose and to enforce it as a doctrinal law 
binding upon all ; and to give authoritative decisions on 
points obscure, controverted, or denied. In this capacity 

the Church acts as regulator of the Faith, and these doc- 
trinal laws, together with the act of imposing them, are 
called the Rule of Faith. All the me.mbers of the Church 
are bound to submit their judgment in matters of Faith to 
this rule, and thus by practising the " obedience of Faith " 
to prove themselves living members of the one kingdom of 
Divine truth. 

Thus we see that the Divine economy for preserving 
and enforcing Christian truth in the Church possesses in 
an eminent degree all the aids and guarantees which are 
made use of in civil society for the safe custody and inter- 
pretation of legal documents. In both there are documents 
of various kinds, witnesses, public and private, and judges 
of different rank. But in the Church the judges are at the 
same time witnesses, administrators, and legislators. In 
the Protestant theory there are written documents and 
nothing more. 

50 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 


CHAP. in. THE doctrine concerning the Sources of Revelation was 

SKCT. 16. 

formally defined by the Council of Trent (sess. iv.) and the 
Vatican Council (sess. iii., chap. 2). At Trent the principal 
object was to assert, in opposition to the early Protestants, 
the equal value of Oral and Written Tradition. As regards 
the Holy Scriptures, the controversial importance of which 
was rather overrated than otherwise by the Protestants, 
the Council had only to define their extent and to fix upon 
an authentic text. But the Vatican Council had to assert 
the Divine character of Scripture, which was not contested 
at the time of the earlier Council. Both Councils, however, 
declared that the Written Deposit was only one of the 
sources of theological knowledge, and that it must be 
understood and explained according to the mind and 
tradition of the Church. 

SECT. 16. Holy Scripture the Written Word of God. 
God the I. The " Sacred and Canonical Books," i.e. the definitive 

Author of 11 r i i i -r-> 

Scripture, collection or the authentic documents of Revelation pre- 
served and promulgated by the Church, have been con- 
sidered in recent times by writers tinged with rationalistic 
Protestantism, as being documents of Revelation merely 
because the Church has acknowledged them to be histori- 
cally trustworthy records of revealed truth. This, however, 
is by no means the Catholic doctrine. The books of Holy 
Scripture are sacred and canonical because they are the 
Written Word of God, and have God for their Author, 

PART L] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 5 1 

the human writers to whom they are ascribed being merely CHAP, in 

J * J SECT. 16. 

the instruments of the Holy Ghost, Who enlightened their 
minds and moved their wills, and to a certain extent 
directed them as an author directs his secretary. 

1. The Council of Trent had declared that the whole Council of 
of the books of the Old and New Testaments with all their 

parts were to be held as sacred and canonical. To this 
the Vatican Council adds : " The Church doth hold these Vatican, 
[books] for sacred and canonical, not because, after being 
composed by merely human industry, they were then ap- 
proved by her authority ; nor simply because they contain 
Revelation without any error : but because, being written 
under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God 
for their author, and as such have been handed down to 
the Church." And even before the Council of Trent the 
Council of Florence had said, " [The Holy Roman Church] Florence. 
professeth that one and the same God is the author of the 
Old and the New Testaments, because the holy men of 
both Testaments spoke under the inspiration of the same 
Holy Ghost" (Decret. pro Jacobitis}. Again, the Council of 
Trent takes the Divine origin of Scriptures for granted 
when it says, " The Holy Synod receiveth and venerateth 
with like devotion and reverence all the books both of the 
Old and New Testament, since the one God is the author 
of both." 

2. The doctrine defined by the councils is likewise Scripture, 
taught in Holy Scripture itself. Christ and His Apostles 
when quoting the Old Testament clearly imply that God 

is the author. " The Scripture must needs be fulfilled 
which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth (Sm 
<TTo/mroc) of David" (Acts i. 16). "David himself saith 
in the Holy Ghost" (Mark xii. 36 ; Matt. xxii. 43). Some- 
times instead of "the Scripture saith" we find " God saith," 
where it is the sacred writer who is speaking (Heb., passim). 
St. Paul distinctly declares that all Scripture is " breathed 
by God," Trao-a ypa^rj OtoirvevaTog (2 Tim. iii. 1 6). St. Peter 
also speaks of the Prophets as instruments in the hands of 
the Holy Ghost : " No prophecy of Scripture is made by 
private interpretation ; for prophecy came not by the 
will of man at any time, but the holy men of God spoke 

52 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

HAP. in. inspired by the Holy Ghost, virb rivsv^aroc ayj'ov 

(2 Pet. i. 20, 21). This last text, it is true, applies primarily 
to prophecies strictly so called (foretelling events to come), 
but it refers also to the whole of the teaching- of a Prophet, 
because he speaks in the name and under the influence 
of God (cf. i Kings x. 6 ; Mich. iii. 8). 

The Fathers. 3. The Fathers from the very earliest days taught the 
Divine authorship of Scripture. 

(a) " The Divine Scriptures," " the Divine Oracles," " the 
Scriptures of God," " the Scriptures of the Lord " are the 
usual phrases by which they expressed their belief in 
Inspiration. " The Apostle moved by that Spirit by Whom 
the whole of Scripture was composed " (Tertull., De Or, 22). 
Gelasius (or, according to Thiel, Damasus) says that the 
Scriptures were composed "by the action of God." And 
St. Augustine : " God having first spoken by the Prophets, 
then by Himself and afterwards by the Apostles, composed 
also the Scripture which is styled canonical " {De Civit. 
Dei, xi. 3). Origen, too, says that " the Scriptures were 
written by the Holy Ghost " (Pr&f. De Princ., nn. 4, 8). 
Theodoret (Prcef. in Ps.) says that it does not matter who 
was the human writer of the Psalms, seeing that we know 
that they were written under the active influence of the 
Holy Ghost (EK rfje TOV Hvfv/naroQ 07/01* tvep-yaac). Hence 
the Fifth General Council (the second of Constantinople) 
calls the Holy Ghost purely and simply the author of Holy 
Writ, and says of Theodore of Mopsuestia that he rejects 
the book of Job, " in his rage against its author, the Holy 
Ghost." The Fathers frequently call the Bible " an epistle 
from God." "What is Scripture but a sort of letter from 
Almighty God to His creature ?"..." The Lord of Heaven 
hath sent thee His letters for thy life's sake. . . . Study 
therefore, I pray thee, and meditate daily upon the words 
of thy Creator" (Greg. M., lib. iv., ep. 31). Further, the 
Scriptures are words spoken by God : " Study the Scriptures, 
the true words of the Holy Ghost " TO? aXnOtig /o?';<r<c Tlvtv- 
fiaToc; TOV ayiov (Clem. Rom. ad Cor. i., n. 45). " The 
Scriptures were spoken by the Word and His Spirit" 
(lrer\.,Adv. Hares, lib. ii., cap. 28, n. 2). Hence the manner 
of quoting them : " The Holy Ghost saith in the Psalms " 

PABT I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 53 

(Cypr., De Zelo, n. 8). " Not without reason have so many CHAP, in 
and such great peoples believed that when [the sacred - 
writers] were writing these books, God spoke to them or 
through them " (Aug., De Civit. Dei, xviii. 41). 

(bi] The Fathers also determine the relation between the 
Divine author of Scripture and the human writer. The 
latter is, as it were, the secretary, or the hand, or the pen 
employed by God analogies which are set forth in the 
following well-known passages. "[Christ] by the human 
nature which He took upon Himself is the Head of all 
His disciples, who arc, as it were, the members of His body. 
Hence when they wrote what He manifested and spoke, 
we must by no means say that it was not He Who wrote, for 
His members have done what they learnt from the orders 
of their Head. Whatever He wished us to read concerning- 


His words and works He ordered them, His hands, to write 
down. Any one who rightly understands this union and 
this ministry of members performing in harmony their 
various functions under one head, will receive the Gospel 
narrative as though he saw the hand of the Lord writing, 
the very hand which belonged to His own body " (Aug., De 
Cons. Evang., 1. i., c. 35). " It is quite useless to inquire who 
wrote this, since the Holy Ghost is rightly believed to be 
the author of the book. He therefore Who dictated it 
is the writer ; He is the writer Who was the Inspirer of the 
work and Who made use of the voice of the [human] writer 
to transmit to us His deeds for our imitation. When we 
receive a letter from some great man, and know from whom 
it comes and what it means, it is folly for us to ask what 
pen he wrote it with. When therefore we learn something, 
and know that the Holy Ghost is its author, any inquiry 
about the writer is like asking about the pen " (Greg. M., 
In Job, praef.). And St. Justin compares the human writer 
to a lyre played upon by God through the action of the 
Holy Ghost (Cohort, ad Grcecos, n. 8). 

(c) From this dependence of the human writer on the 
Holy Ghost, the Fathers infer the absolute truth and wisdom 
of every, even the minutest, detail of Scripture. " We who 
extend the perfect truthfulness of the Holy Ghost to the 
smallest lines and letters (i^utic SE ot KCU ^ut'x/ 04 r *ie 

54 ^ Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I, 

1 " Kf / a '' a Kc " 7/oa^ft7C row IlveujUaToc TTJV aKpifleiav fXicovreg) do 
not and dare not grant that even the smallest things are 
asserted by the writers without a meaning " (Greg. Naz., 
Orat., ii., n. 105). And the following passage of St. Augus 
tine is especially worthy of notice : " I acknowledge to 
your charity that I have learnt to pay only to those books 
of Scripture which are already called canonical, this rever- 
ence and honour, viz. to believe most firmly that no author 
of them made any mistake, and if I should meet with 
anything in them which seems to be opposed to the truth, 
not to doubt but that either the codex is incorrect, or that the 
translator has not caught what was said, or that my under- 
standing is at fault" (Ep. ad Hieron., Ixxxii. [al. 19.] n. 3). 
Summary of II. The Catholic Church expressly teaches that God is 
doctrineof the author of the Holy Scriptures in a physical sense. 
That God may be the author of Scripture in a physical 
sense, and that Scripture may be the Word of God as 
issuing from Him, it is not enough that the Sacred Books 
should have been written under the merely negative in- 
fluence and the merely external assistance of God, pre- 
venting error from creeping in ; the Divine authorship 
implies a positive and interior influence upon the writer, 
which is expressed by the dogmatic term Inspiration. 
Although a negative assistance, preserving from error, such 
as is granted to the Teaching Apostolate, is not enough 
for the physical authorship of Holy Scripture, yet, on the 
other hand, a positive dictation by word of mouth is not 
required. The sacred writers themselves make no mention 
of it ; nay, they expressly state that they have made use 
of their own industry ; and the diversity of style of the 
different writers is distinctly opposed to it. Of course, when 
something previously unknown to the writer has to be 
written down by him, God must in some way speak to him ; 
nevertheless, Inspiration in itself is "the action of God 
upon a human writer, whereby God moves and enables the 
writer to serve as an instrument for communicating, in 
writing, the Divine thoughts." Inspiration arises in the 
first instance from God's intention to express in writing 
certain truths through the instrumentality of human agents. 
To carry out this intention God moves the writer's will to 

PART J.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 55 

write down these truths, and at the same time suggests CHAP. in. 
them to his mind and assists him to the right understanding K Hi 1 
and faithful expression of them. The assistance has been 
reduced by some theologians to a mere surveillance or 
watching over the writer ; but the stress laid by the Fathers 
on the instrumental character of the writers in relation to 
God, and the Scriptural expression, VTTO rou FIvEt^uaToe 
aytou ^tjoojutvot, are plainly opposed to it (cf. St. Thorn. 
2 a 2*. q. 174, a. 2). The diversity of style in the different 
books is accounted for by the general law, that when God 
employs natural instruments for a supernatural purpose, 
He does not destroy their natural powers, but adapts them 
to His own purpose. 

III. i. Though the Bible is not mere history or mere Further 
literature, it nevertheless has to do with history, and it ex 
is literature in the highest sense of the word. It has a 
human element as well as a Divine element ; and how 
far the books are human and how far Divine is the great 
Scripture problem. The two elements are united some- 
what after the fashion of the soul and the body. Just as 
the soul is present in every part of the body, so too the 
action of the Holy Ghost is present in every part of Scrip- 
ture. But the Schoolmen went on to say that though the 
soul is whole and entire in every part of the body, it does 
not exercise all its powers in each and every part, but 
some powers in some parts and other powers in other 
parts. Hence we must not restrict Inspiration to certain 
portions of Scripture. 1 On the other hand, the action of 
the Holy Ghost is not necessarily the same throughout. 

2. When it is said that God is the Author of the 
Sacred Books, we must not take this in the same sense as 
when it is said that Milton is the author of Paradise Lost. 
This would exclude any human authorship. The formula 
was originally directed against the Manichaeans, who held 
that the Evil Spirit was the author of the Old Testament. 

3. The Church has never decided the question of the 
human authorship of any of the Books. There may be a 
strong opinion, e.g., that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, or 

1 " Nefas omnino fuerit inspirationem ad aliquas tantum S. Scriptuiae partes 
coangustare." (Leo XIII., Encl. Prov. Deus.) 

56 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CH<VP. in. that the whole of the Book of Isaias was written by the 
_j_*7- prophet of that name ; but no definition has ever been given. 

4. We cannot admit that the Sacred Author Himself 
has been guilty of error. 1 He may, however, make use 
of a story, not necessarily history, for the purpose of 
teaching some dogmatic principle or pointing some moral 
lesson. Again, He must adapt Himself to the circum- 
stances of those whom He addresses. If He acted other- 
wise, He would fail to be understood. As St. Jerome says 
(In Jerem. Proph. xxviii.) : " Multa in Scripturis Sanctis 
dicuntur secundum opinionem illius temporis quo gesta 
referuntur, et non juxta quod rei veritas continebat." And 
St. Thomas (i, q. 70, a. i) : " Moyses autem rudi populo 
condescendens, sequutus est quae sensibiliter apparent." a 

5. On the Catholic canon of Scripture, see Franzelin, 
De Script , sect. ii. ; Loisy, Hist, du Canon de V A.T. ; Hist, 
du Canon dn N. T. 

SECT. 17. Holy Scripture as a Source of Theological 

The excel- I. Holy Scripture, being the work of God Himself, far 

Ho'iy surpasses in value and excellence any human account of 
Revelation. The Old Testament is inspired by the Holy 
Ghost, " Who spake by the Prophets," as well as the New. 
Both are of equal excellence, and form together one general 
source of theological knowledge. The Old Testament is 
not a mere history of Revelation. It contains a fuller 
exposition of many points of Faith and morals than the 
New ; it is as it were the body of which the New Testament 
is the soul : the two pervade and complete each other. 
The various II. There are two fundamentally distinct senses in Holy 
Skri^tTre. Scripture : the Literal, conveyed by the words, and the 
Spiritual, conveyed by the things expressed by the words, 
whence it is also called Typical. The former is that in- 
tended by the human writer, and conveyed by the letter 
of the text. The Spiritual Sense has its foundation in the 
all-embracing knowledge of the Holy Ghost, Who inspired 

1 "Nefas omnino fuerit . . . conceclere sacrum ipsum auctorem errasse." 
(Leo XIII., id.) 

* See Lagrange, Hist. Criticism and the O.T., p. 112. 

PABT I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 5 7 

the writer. Sentences and even single words written under c g- i m 
Divine direction have, in some circumstances, a significance 
beyond that which they would convey if they were of 
merely human origin. An historical fact, an institution, a 
precept, may stand isolated in the mind of the writer, 
whereas in the mind of God it may be related to other 
facts and truths, as a type, a confirmation, or an illustra- 
tion. These relations are the basis of the Spiritual Sense 
of Scripture. We derive our knowledge of them from the 
things expressed by the words, and from the words them- 
selves. Thus, to us the spiritual sense is mediate, but to 
the Holy Ghost it is immediate. 

From these different senses of Holy Scripture it follows A text is 

A 11 r ca P a ' e ' 

that a text is capable of many interpretations. All of many inter 

p relations 

them, however, must be based upon the Literal Sense. A 
text may have several spiritual or mediate meanings, but 
usually only one Literal Sense. Many applications of the 
Sacred Text commonly adopted by the Church may be 
regarded as belonging to the Mediate Sense, i,e. as being 
foreseen by the Holy Ghost, although in purely human 
writings such interpretations would appear to be distortions. 
Familiar instances are the passages Prov. viii. and Ecclus. 
xxiv. as applied to the Blessed Virgin. 

A demonstrative argument that a certain doctrine is 
revealed can be obtained from any sense demonstrably 
intended by the Holy Ghost, whether literal, or logically 
inferred from the literal, or purely spiritual. The Literav 
Sense affords the most obvious proof. Where, however 
the language is figurative, the meaning of the figure must 
be ascertained before an argument can be drawn from it. 
The Inferential Sense is equal in demonstrative force to 
the Literal Sense, but in dignity it is inferior because only 
intended, and not directly expressed by the Holy Ghost 
The Spiritual Sense likewise offers a cogent argument, pro- 
vided that the relation between the type and the thing 
typified be either directly stated in the Literal Sense or 
contained in it as an evident consequence. Indirectly, the 
Spiritual Sense acquires demonstrative force from explana- 
tions given in Scripture itself or handed down by Apos- 
tolical Tradition. Such explanations are often insufficient 

5 & A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

C HAP. in. to determine the Spiritual Sense with complete certainty, 
and give us only probabilities. Sometimes a number of 
them, taken together, form a strong argument. See Wise- 
man's Essays : Miracles of the New Testament, where argu- 
ments in favour of many Catholic doctrines are drawn 
from the typical signification of various miracles. 

The principal object of Holy Scripture is to give us 
certain knowledge of Revelation. But the constant prac- 
tice of the Church has made it serve another purpose, which, 
however, is quite in keeping with the former. In the book 
of nature we have a faithful though imperfect image of 
God's Wisdom, but in the Inspired Books the defects are 
remedied, and a more perfect representation is set before 
us, destined to kindle in our minds a manifold knowledge 
of the supernatural world. This purpose is attained by 
that sense and interpretation of Holy Writ, whereby we 
gather from the Sacred Text pious considerations and 
suggestions, not necessarily intended by the Holy Ghost 
in the precise form which they take in the reader's mind, 
and yet not wholly arbitrary. 

Dogmaand III. The careful study and comparison of different pas- 
sages of Holy Scripture throws great light on the dogmatic 
teaching of the Church ; and, on the other hand, a sound 
knowledge of this teaching gives us a deeper insight into 
the Written Word. Theological Exegesis far surpasses 
mere philological criticism, and attains results beyond the 
reach of the latter. Scripture, for instance, tells us that 
God has a Son, and that this Son is the Word, the Image 
(Figure), the Mirror, the Wisdom of His Father. The 
combination and comparison of these expressions are of 
great help towards understanding the Eternal Generation 
of the Son ; and, on the other hand, the theological know- 
ledge of generation is the only basis of an accurate inter- 
pretation of these expressions. 

SECT. 1 8. The False and Self -contradictory Position of 
Holy Scripture in the Protestant System. 

We have seen that Holy Scripture holds a very high 
position as a source of Faith. This, however, does not 
mean that it is the only source, or even a source acces- 

PART I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 59 

sible and necessary to each and all of the Faithful. Indeed, CHAP. in. 
without the intervention of some living authority, distinct - 
from Holy Scripture, we should never be able to prove 
that Scripture is a source of Faith at all. Nevertheless, 
Protestants reject the Teaching Apostolate, and main- 
tain that the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the 
Bible, is the sole Source and Rule of Faith. We shall 
prove in 21 that Oral Tradition is a substantial part of the 
Apostolic Deposit, and consequently that Holy Scripture 
is not the only source of Faith. That it is not the only 
rule may be seen from the following considerations. 

I. The Rule of Faith should be materially complete, The PTO- 
that is, it should embrace the entire sphere of revealed theory faisn. 
truth : formally perfect, that is, it should not need to be 
supplemented by any other : and universal, that is, appli- 
cable to all men, always and everywhere. None of these 
characteristics can be affirmed of Holy Scripture. There 
are, as we shall see, a number of revealed truths handed 
down by Oral Tradition only. Moreover, the Bible, not- 
withstanding the excellence of its contents, is but a dead 
letter, wanting in systematic arrangement, often obscure 
and hard to be understood, and exposed to many false 
interpretations. Some means must be provided by God 
to remove these difficulties, otherwise the object of Revela- 
tion would be frustrated. And, lastly, some of the very cir- 
cumstances which constitute the excellence of the Bible its 
being a written document of considerable dimensions, full 
of deep and difficult matter expressed in the metaphorical 
language of the East make it unfit for the general use of 
the people 

Protestants cannot help feeling the force of these argu- 
ments. They usually admit more or less explicitly some 
other rule of Faith ; for instance, the mind of the reader 
guided by a private supernatural revelation, or by its own 
natural light and inclination. The result has been that 
the Bible has become the sport of innumerable sectaries 
and the source of endless divisions. Practically, however, 
the mischief has been to a great extent prevented by the 
submission of the people to the guidance of others, or even 
to " Confessions of Faith and Formularies," though the 
latter have no recognized authority. 

60 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK L 

CHAP. in. After what has been said it is clear that the reading of 
- the Bible is not necessary for salvation, or even advisable 
for every one under all circumstances. Hence the Church 
has with great wisdom imposed certain regulations on 
the subject. See The Pope and the Bible, by Rev. R. F. 
Clarke, S.J. 

The Pro- II. But the Protestant theory is not only false, but 

iheo^'con. also contradictory. Inspiration is the result of such a 
tradiaory. m ysterious influence of God that its very existence can 
be known only by means of Revelation. We cannot infer 
it from the character of the writers or the nature of their 
writings. There have been Prophets and Apostles who 
were not inspired (in the technical sense), and some of the 
inspired writers were neither Apostles nor Prophets. Some 
of the Sacred Books, indeed, state that their writers were 
animated by the Holy Ghost, but this does not necessarily 
mean that particular Divine influence which goes by the 
name of Inspiration. Even if we admit this, there still 
remains the question whether these statements themselves 
were inspired. The only way to avoid a vicious circle is to 
appeal to some testimony external to the Inspired Books. 
The consoling effect upon the reader, the "gustus spiritual's" 
of the early Protestants, cannot seriously be put forward 
at the present day as a test of Inspiration. There must 
be some public and authentic witness to the fact of Inspira- 
tion, and this we have seen to be the Teaching Body in 
the Catholic Church (cf. Card. Newman's Idea of a Uni- 
versity, p. 270). 

Moreover, there is another difficulty in the Protestant 
theory. Even if we were to grant that the inspired character 
of all the books of the Bible was made known at the time 
of their original publication, we should still require official 
testimony of this fact. Besides, how could we be sure that 
the copies which we now possess agree with the originals ? 
Apart from the authority of the Church, the common belief 
in the canon of Holy Scripture and the identity of later 
copies, rests on evidence which is by no means historically 
conclusive. And this common belief has, as a matter of 
fact, been produced by the action of the Church. We may 
still assert what St. Augustine said long ago : " I, for my 

PART I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 61 

part, should not believe the Gospel except on the authority CHAP. in. 
of the Catholic Church." x 

SECT. 19. The Position and Functions of Holy Scripture in 
the Catholic System. 

The position and functions of Holy Scripture in the 
Catholic System may be briefly expressed in this proposi- 
tion : Scripture is an Apostolic Deposit entrusted to the 
Church ; in other words, the Apostles published Holy 
Scripture as a document of Divine Revelation, and handed 
it over as such to their successors. It is on this ground 
that the Teaching Body claims the right of preserving and 
expounding the sacred writings. Protestants, on the other 
hand, have no right to call the Bible the, or even an, 
Apostolic Deposit. They reject the authoritative promul- 
gation by the Apostles, and the necessity of entrusting the 
Deposit of Revelation to a living Apostolate ; and conse- 
quently the word "deposit" is in their mouth devoid of 
meaning. To them the Bible is a windfall, coming they 
know not whence. 

I. Catholics maintain, and they can prove their doctrine Holy 
by evidence drawn from the earliest centuries, that the published 
Apostles promulgated by God's order both the Old and Apostles, 
New Testaments, as a document received from God, and 
thus gave it the dignity and efficacy of a legitimate source 
and rule of Faith. This promulgation might have been 
expected from the nature of Holy Scripture and the func- 
tions of the Apostles. God would not have cast His Word 
upon the world to be the sport of conflicting opinions. 
Rather He would have committed the publication of it to 
the care of those whom He was sending to preach the 
Gospel to all nations, and with whom He had promised to 
be for all days, even to the consummation of the world. 
This fact of promulgation by the Apostles is generally 
treated of by the Fathers in connection with the trans- 
mission of Holy Scripture. The mere writing and pub- 
lishing, even by an Apostle, were not deemed a sufficient 
promulgation of inspiration. It was necessary that the 

1 " Ego vero Evangclio non crederem, nisi me Catholicce Ecclesiae com- 
moveret auctoritas" (Contm Ep. Mantcheei, fum/am., n. 6). 

62 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i 

CHAP. HI. document should be put on a footing with the Old Tcsta- 

~- ment, and approved for public reading in the Church. As 

St. Jerome says of the Gospel of St. Mark : " When Peter 

had heard it, he both approved of it and ordered it to be read 

in the churches " (De Script. Eccl.}. 

and en- II. Besides promulgating Holy Scripture as a Divine 

them e totL document, the Apostles transmitted it to their successors 
with the right, the duty, and the power to continue its 
promulgation, to preserve its integrity and identity, to 
expound its meaning, to make use of it in demonstrating 
and illustrating Catholic doctrine, and finally to resist and 
condemn any attacks upon its teaching, or any abuse of its 
meaning. All this again is implied in the nature of the 
Apostolate, and the character of the Sacred Writings. See 
the passages quoted from St. Irenaeus and Tertullian in 

9, HI. 

Thefunction III. The function of Holy Scripture in the Catholic 
>cn P ture. church j s determined by the two facts, that it is an 
Apostolic Deposit, and that its lawful administration be- 
longs to the Church. Hence : 

1. Holy Scripture, in virtue of its permanent and official 
promulgation, is a public document, the Divine authority 
of which is evident to all the members of the Church. 

2. The Church necessarily possesses an authentic text 
of the Scriptures, identical with the original. If either by 
constant use or by express declaration a certain text has 
been approved of by the Church, that text thereby receives 
the character of public authenticity ; that is to say, its 
conformity with the original must be not only presumed 
juridically, but admitted as certain on the ground of the 
infallibility of the Church. 

3. The authentic text, duly promulgated, becomes a 
Source and Rule of Faith ; but it is still only a means or 
instrument of instruction and proof in the hands of the 
members of the Teaching Apostolate, who alone have the 
right of authoritatively interpreting it. 

4. Private interpretation must submit to authoritative 

5. The custody and administration of the Holy Scrip- 
tures is not entrusted directly to the body of the Church at 

PART I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 63 

large, but to the Teaching Apostolate ; nevertheless, the CHAP. HI. 

,. - riii i/~ SKCT. 20. 

Scriptures are the common property of all the members ot 
the Church. The duty of the administrators is to com- 
municate its teaching to all who are in the obedience of the 
Faith. The body of the Faithful thereby secure a better 
knowledge than if each one were to interpret according to 
his own light. Besides, such private handling of Scripture 
is really opposed to the notion of its being the common 
property of all. 

6. The Bible belongs to the Church and to the Church 
alone. If, however, those who are outside her pale use it as 
a means of discovering and entering the Church, such use 
is perfectly legitimate. But they have no right to apply 
it to their own purposes, or to turn it against the Church. 
This is the fundamental principle of Tertullian's work, De 
Prcescriptionibus Hcereticorwn. He shows how Catholics, 
before arguing with heretics on single points of scriptural 
doctrine, should contest the right of the latter to appeal to 
the Scriptures at all, and should thus defeat their action 
at the outset (prcescribere actionem, a mode of defence 
corresponding to some extent with demurrer). 

7. Lastly, the rights of the Teaching Apostolate include 
that of taking and enforcing disciplinary measures for pro- 
moting the right use, or preventing the abuse of Scripture. 

SECT. 20. Decisions of the Church on the Text and Inter- 
pretation of Scripture. 

The principles laid down in the preceding section were 
applied by the Councils of Trent (sess. iv.) and the Vatican 
(sess. iii.). 

I. The Council of Trent issued two decrees on the The Council 
Sacred Text, one of which is dogmatic, and the other the Vulgate. 
disciplinary. These decrees, however, did not so much 
confer upon the Vulgate its public ecclesiastical authen- 
ticity, but rather declared and confirmed the authenticity 
already possessed by it in consequence of its long-continued 
public use. " If any one," says the Council, "receiveth not, 
as Sacred and Canonical, the said books, entire with all 
their parts (libros integros cum omnibus suis partibus) as 
they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, 

64 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

CHAP. in. and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate edition ; 

SECT. 20. J 

let him be anathema. . . . Moreover, the same sacred and 
holy Synod considering that no small profit may accrue 
to the Church of God if it be made known which out of all 
the Latin editions, now in circulation, of the Sacred Books 
is to be held as authentic ordaineth and declareth that 
the said old and Vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened 
usage of so many ages, hath been approved of in the 
Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and 
expositions, held as authentic ; and that no one is to dare 
to reject it under any pretext whatsoever." 

1. These decrees are not exclusive. They affirm the 
authenticity of the Vulgate, but say nothing about the 
original text or about other versions. Hence the latter 
retain their public and private value. No Hebrew text 
has ever been used in the Church since the time of the 
Apostles ; but the Greek text in public use during the 
first eight centuries must be considered as fully authentic 
for that time ; since the schism, however, its authenticity is 
only guaranteed by the use of the Greek Catholics. 

2. The conformity of the Vulgate with the original is 
not to be taken as absolute. Differences in distinctness 
and force of expression, even in dogmatic texts, may be 
admitted, and also additions, omissions, and diversities 
in texts not dogmatic. But in matters of Faith and 
morals the Vulgate does not put forth anything as the 
Word of God which either openly contradicts the Word of 
God or is not the Word of God at all. Again, the entire 
contents of the Vulgate are substantially correct, and are 
upon the whole identical with the original. Cf. Kaulen, 
History of the Vulgate (in German), p. 58 sqq. ; Franzelin, 
De Script., sect. iii. 

3. In demonstrating and expounding doctrines of Faith 
and morals the Vulgate may confidently be used, and its 
authority may not be rejected. It should be used in all 
public transactions relating to Faith and morals, as pos- 
sessing complete demonstrative force within the Church. 
Hence the saying, " The Vulgate is the theologian's Bible." 
At the same time, the decree does not forbid the use of 
other texts, especially the originals, even in public trans- 

I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 65 
actions, in order to support and illustrate the Vulrate, or CHAP. j;i 

SECT, at 

against non-Catholics as an arguincntum ad hominem t or in 
purely scientific disquisitions. 

Clement VIII., in execution of the Tridentine decrees, 
published an official edition of the Vulgate which came 
into general use, and must now be considered as an 
authentic reproduction of the text approved by the Council. 

II. The Council of Trent also issued a decree concern- The Council 
ing the Interpretation of Scripture. This decree, although int 
further explained in the Creed of the council drawn up 
by Pius IV., was in later days very much misunderstood. 
Hence the Vatican Council has explained its true extent 
and meaning. The Tridentine decree quoted above con- 
tinues, " Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, 
[the council] decrees that no one, relying on his own skill 
shall, in matters of faith and of morals pertaining to the 
edification of Christian doctrine, wresting the Sacred Scrip- 
ture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said 
Sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which Holy 
Mother Church to whom it belongeth to judge of the 
true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures hath 
held and doth hold ; or even contrary to the unanimous 
consent of the Fathers ; even though such interpretations 
were never intended to be at any time published." The 
passage in the Creed runs thus : " I also admit the Holy 
Scriptures according to that sense which Holy Mother 
Church hath held and doth hold, to whom it belongeth to 
judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures ; 
neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than 
according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers." The 
conclusion of the Vatican decree is as follows : " Forasmuch Vatican 
as the wholesome decree of the holy and sacred council of 
Trent concerning the interpretation of the Divine Scripture 
. . . hath been perversely explained by divers persons, We, 
while renewing the said decree, declare this to be its mean- 
ing : in matters of Faith and morals pertaining to the edifi- 
cation of Christian doctrine, that is to be held as the true 
sense of Sacred Scripture which Holy Mother Church hath 
held and doth hold, to whom it belongeth to judge of the 
true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures ; and 


66 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. in. therefore it is lawful to no man to interpret the said Sacred 
E _ 21 ' Scripture against this sense or even against the unanimous 
consent of the Fathers." Hence, according to the explana- 
tion given by the Vatican Council, the meaning of the 
Tridentine decree is that the Church has the right to give 
a judicial decision on the sense of Holy Scripture in 
matters of Faith and morals ; that is, to give an interpre- 
tation authentic, infallible, universally binding, not only 
indirectly and negatively, but also directly and positively. 
To oppose such a decision is unlawful, because to do so 
would be a denial of the true sense of Scripture and not 
merely an act of disobedience. Moreover, the unanimous 
interpretation of the Fathers, whose writings reproduce the 
authentic teaching of the Church, has a similar value. 

A very little thought will convince any one that the 
Catholic rule of Scriptural interpretation does not clash 
with a reasonable liberty and the development of scientific 
exegesis. On the contrary, the period subsequent to the 
Council of Trent produced the most famous Biblical com- 
mentators (see supra, Introd., p. xxxi.), while the principle 
of private judgment has produced nothing but errors and 
destructive criticism. 

Stapleton, Princ. Fid. Demonstr., 11. x. et xi. ; Franzelin, 
De Script. , sect. iii. ; Vacant, Etudes TJieol. sur le Concile du 
Vatican, t. i. p. 405, sqq, 

SECT. 21. The Oral Apostolic Deposit Tradition, in the 
narrower sense of the word. 

The Protestant rejection of a permanent Teaching 
Apostolate while, as we have seen, injurious to the Written 
Word, destroys the very existence of Oral Tradition. The 
Catholic doctrine, on the other hand, maintains that the 
preaching of the Apostles, unwritten as well as written, is 
an independent and trustworthy Source of Faith, and is, 
like the Holy Scriptures, an essential part of the Apostolic 
Deposit. The Council of Trent " seeing clearly that this 
truth and discipline are contained in the written books and 
the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles 
from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the Apostles 
themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even 

PART I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 67 

unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand, follow- CHAP. in. 

SECT. 21. 

ing the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receiveth and 
venerateth, with an equal affection of piety, all the books 
both of the Old and of the New Testaments . . . and also 
the said traditions, as well those appertaining to Faith as 
to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ's own 
word of mouth or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the 
Catholic Church by a continuous succession " (sess. iv.). 

I. The Catholic doctrine is an evident consequence of ^i^^ on 
the perpetuity of the Apostolate. It is plain from Holy 
Scripture and the testimony of the early Fathers that the 
Apostles handed over to their successors, together with the 
written documents of Revelation, the contents of their oral 
teaching as an independent and permanent Source of Faith. 
This Oral Deposit can, by reason of the natural and super- 
natural qualifications of the depositary, be transmitted as 
securely and perfectly as the Written Deposit. 

I. Scripture nowhere says plainly, or even implies, that g^,^. " 1 
it is to be the only Source of Faith. The whole composi- 
tion of the books supposes the existence of a Teaching 
Body, and the fact of the perpetuity of the Apostolate 
implies also the perpetuity of the authority of their teach- 
ing. St. Paul expressly enjoins the holding of the things St - Paul - 
which he preached as well as of those which he wrote. 
" Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions 
which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle " 
(2 Thess. ii. 14 ; cf. St. John Chrysostom in h. 1.). And 
again, " Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast 
heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ 
Jesus. Keep the good thing committed to thy trust (rijv 
naXriv 7rapa0?'yK:r)v) by the Holy Ghost" (2 Tim. i. 13-14); 
" The things' which thou hast heard of me by many wit- 
nesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit 
to teach others also" (ib., ii. 2). In the earliest ages of 
the Church, too, it was universally held that the contents of 
the apostolic preaching were transmitted to the Church as 
a permanent Source and Rule of Faith. See above, 9, iii. 
The same doctrine is proved by the fact that in patristic 
times the true interpretation of Scripture was ruled by the 
Teaching Apostolate. Many truths not contained in Scrip- 

68 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. in. ture were held on the authority of the Apostolate. Cf. 

SECT. 21. 

Stapleton, 1. c., 1. xi., c. 3. 

objections 2. Protestant objections on the ground that an Oral 
Deposit cannot be perfectly transmitted, by reason of the 
imperfection of the Apostolate, do not touch the Apostolate 
as we conceive it, viz., as infallible through the assistance of 
the Holy Ghost. Any force that these objections may have 
can be turned against the transmission of Scripture itself. 
Even from a merely human point of view, the constitution 
and organization of the Apostolate afford an almost perfect 
guarantee for the purity of the doctrine transmitted. The 
cohesion of the different members, their fidelity to and re- 
spect for apostolical traditions, the constant mutual watch- 
fulness, the daily application of most of the truths in question 
in private practice and public worship all of these are ad- 
mirably adapted for the preservation of truth and the pre- 
vention of error (cf. Franzelin, De Trad., th. ix. ; Kuhn, 
Dogmatik, introd., 5). The very fact that a doctrine is 
universally held in the Church is a sufficient proof of its 
apostolic origin and faithful transmission. " Granted that all 
(the churches) have erred, . . . that the Holy Ghost hath 
looked down upon none of them to lead them into the truth, 
although it was for this that He was sent by Christ and 
asked of the Father that He might be a Teacher of truth ; 
granted that God's steward, the Vicar of Christ, hath neg- 
lected his duty, ... is it likely that so many and such 
great churches should have gone astray into one faith? 
Never is there one result among many chances. The error 
of the churches would have taken different directions. 
Whatever is found to be one and the same among many 
persons is not an error but a tradition" (Tertull., De 
Prascr., c. 28). 1 

Relations II. Oral Tradition could, absolutely speaking, be the 

Secure sole Source of Faith, because it could hold its own even if 

ditloL ra " no Written Deposit existed, whereas, as we have shown, 

the inspiration and interpretation of Scripture cannot be 

known without the aid of Tradition. Nevertheless, the 

1 "Nullus inter multos eventus unus est. Exitus variasse debuerat error 
ecclesiarum. Cseterum quod apud multos unum invenitur, non est erratum sed 

PART I.] The Apostolic Deposit of Revelation. 69 

Holy Scriptures have a value of their own, and are in a CHAP, in 

, , StCT. 21. 

certain sense even necessary. They contain not only the 
Word, but also the language of God, and they give details, 
developments, and illustrations to an extent unattainable 
by Tradition. They are a sort of text-book of Tradition, 
enabling the Faithful to acquire a vivid knowledge of 
revealed truths. There is no revealed doctrine which has 
not at least some foundation in the Bible. The most 
important truths are explicitly stated there. On the whole, 
we may say that Oral Tradition is the living and authentic 
commentary upon the written document, yet, at the same 
time, not a mere commentary, but something self-subsistent, 
confirming, illustrating, completing and vivifying the text 

III. The Fathers and the Schoolmen often insist upon HO* far 
the completeness and sufficiency of Holy Scripture, but sufficient 6 ." 
they do so in the sense of the present section. The Bible 
clearly teaches the doctrine of the Teaching Apostolate, 
and this implicitly contains the whole of Revelation. 
Hence we may say that the Bible itself is complete and 
sufficient. Sometimes, however, the Fathers speak of the 
completeness of Scripture merely with regard to certain 
points of doctrine. Thus in the well-known passage of 
St. Vincent of Lerins (Common., c. 2} where it is said that 
" the canon of the Scriptures is perfect, and of itself enough 
and more than enough for everything" 1 the Saint is really 
putting an objection, which he proceeds to answer in favour 
of the necessity of tradition. And Tertullian's saying, " I 
worship the fulness of Scripture," refers to the doctrine of 
creation (cf. Franz., De Trad., th. xix.). On the other hand, 
certain texts of the Fathers which at first sight might be 
quoted in support of our thesis refer to discipline rather 
than to dogma. 

There are many regulations which have been handed 
down with apostolic authority, but not as revealed by God. 
These are called Merely-Apostolic Traditions, in contra- 
distinction to the Divino- Apostolic Traditions. This 
distinction, though clear enough in itself, is not easy of 
application, except in matters strictly dogmatical or strictly 
moral. In other matters, such as ecclesiastical institutions 

1 " Scripturarum canon perfectus sibique ad omnia satis superque sufficient." 

7O A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

CHAP. in. and discipline, there are various criteria to guide us ; e.g. (i) 
ECTUII. testimony of the Teaching Apostolate or of 

ecclesiastical documents that some institution is of Divine 
origin for instance, the validity of baptism conferred by 
heretics ; (2) the nature of the institution itself for instance, 
the essential parts of the sacraments as opposed to the 
merely ceremonial parts. Where these criteria cannot be 
applied and the practice of the Church does not decide the 
point, it remains an open question whether a given institu- 
tion is of Divine right and belongs to the Deposit of Faith. 
In any case we are bound to respect such traditions, and 
also those which are merely ecclesiastical. Thus in the 
Creed of Pius IV. we say : " I most steadfastly admit and 
embrace Apostolical and Ecclesiastical Traditions and all 
other observances and institutions of the said Church. . . . 
I also receive and admit the received and approved cere- 
monies of the Catholic Church used in the solemn adminis- 
tration of all the Sacraments." 


SECT. 22. Origin and Growth of Ecclesiastical Tradition. 

I. ECCLESIASTICAL tradition differs essentially from human CHAP, iv 
tradition, whether popular or scientific. Human tradition E f^ 22 - 
can produce only human certitude ; it increases or decreases t^unT 
with the course of time, and may ultimately fail altogether, l^di^on 
Ecclesiastical Tradition is indeed human, inasmuch as it com P ared - 
is in the hands of men, and it may be popular or scientific, 
historical or exegetical. But it is also something far 
higher. Its organs are the members of Christ's Church ; 
they form one body fashioned by God Himself, and ani- 
mated and directed by His Holy Spirit. Hence their 
testimony is not the testimony of men, but the testimony 
of the Holy Ghost. Its value does not depend upon the 
number of witnesses or their learning, but on their rank in 
the Church and the assistance of the Holy Ghost ; and the 
authenticity of their testimony remains the same at every 
point of the stream of Tradition. 

II. Nevertheless it must be admitted that the human The tuimat 
element modifies the perfection of Tradition. There may Tr^cuSo^ 
be a break in its continuity and universality. A temporary 
and partial eclipse of truth is possible, as are also further 
developments. It is possible that for a time a portion of 
the Deposit may not be known and acknowledged by the 
whole Church or expressly and distinctly attested by the 
leading organs of the Apostolate. We may therefore 
assert that the essential integrity, continuity, and uni- 
versality of Oral Tradition, as required by the infallibility 

72 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. iv. and indefectibility of the Church and as modified by the 
-*' imperfections of the human element, are subject to the 
following laws : 

1. Nothing can be proposed as Apostolic Tradition 
which is not Apostolic Tradition, or is opposed to it ; and 
no truth handed down by the Apostles can be altogether 

2. The most essential and necessary truths must always 
be expressly taught, admitted, and handed down in the 
Church, if not by every individual teacher or hearer, at 
least by the Body as a whole. Truths belonging to the 
Apostolic Deposit which have been so obscured as not 
to be known and professed by all the members of the 
Church, and even to be rejected by some or not distinctly 
enforced by others, must be attested and transmitted at 
least implicitly ; that is to say, truths clearly expressed 
and distinctly professed must contain the obscured truths 
in such a way that by careful reflection and the assistance 
of the Holy Ghost these obscured truths may be evolved 
and proposed for universal acceptance. There are, we 
may observe, several ways in which one truth may be 
implied in another. General truths contain particular 
truths ; principles imply consequences ; complex state- 
ments involve simpler statements whether as constituent 
parts or as conditions ; practical truths presuppose theo- 
retical principles and vice versd. The dogmas of the Im- 
maculate Conception and of Papal Infallibility are implied 
in other dogmas in all of these four ways (infra, p. 105). 

Only the actual and express Tradition of a truth can 
be appealed to in proof that it is a matter of Faith. If we 
can show that at a given time the Tradition was universal 
this alone is sufficient continuity is not absolutely 
necessary. However, except in cases of an authoritative 
definition, Tradition, to become universal, requires a long 
time. Even when an authoritative definition is given, it 
is always based upon the fact that the Tradition in question 
was universal for a long time. Hence the duration for 
a more or less long period should be proved. 

PART I.] Ecclesiastical Tradition. 73 


SECT. 23. The Various Modes in which Traditional SECT - " 3 - 
Testimony is given in the Church. 

The modes or forms in which the infallible testimony 
of the Holy Ghost is given are as manifold as the forms 
of the living organism of the Church. For our present 
purpose we may distinguish them according to the rank 
of the witnesses. 

I. The most adequate testimony exists when the entire The whok 
Body of the Church, Head and members alike, profess, Church 
teach, and act upon a certain doctrine. 1 This unanimity 

is expressed and maintained by professions of Faith 
universally admitted, by catechisms in general use, and by 
the general practice of the Church either in her liturgy, 
discipline, or morals, in so far as such practice supposes 
and includes Faith in particular doctrines. Hence the 
old rule quoted against the Pelagians, " Legem credendi 
statuat lex supplicandi." 

II. Next in extent, though far lower in rank, is what The"Sens US 
is called the " Sensus fidelium," that is, the distinct, uni- fidelium -" 
versal, and constant profession of a doctrine by the whole 

body of the simple Faithful. As we have shown in 13, 
this sensus fidelium involves a relatively independent and 
immediate testimony of the Holy Ghost. Although but 
an echo of the authentic testimony of the Teaching 
Apostolate, the universal belief of the Faithful is of great 
weight in times when its unity and distinctness are more 
apparent than the teaching of the Apostolate itself, or 
when a part of the Teaching Body is unfaithful to its 
duty, or when the Teaching Body, about to define a 
doctrine which had for a time been obscured in the Church, 
appeals to all the manifestations of the Holy Ghost in its 
favour. Thus, during the Arian troubles, St. Hilary could 
say, " The faithful ears of the people are holier than the 
lips of the priests." And before the definition of the 
Immaculate Conception the profession and practice of 
the Faithful were appealed to in favour of the definition. 
Cf. Franzelin, De Trad., th. xii., p. 112, where he rejects the 

1 " Curamlum est ut id teneamus quod ubique, quod semper, quod ah 
omnibus creditum est " (Vine. Linn., Common. t cap. 3). 

74 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. iv. interpretation given in the Rambler for July, 1859, p. 218 
23 sqq. See also Card. Newman's Arians, pp. 464, 467 ; 
Ward, Essays on the Church's Doctrinal Authority, p. 70. 
" As the blood flows from the heart to the body through 
the arteries ; as the vital sap insinuates itself into the 
whole tree, into each bough, and leaf, and fibre ; as water 
descends through a thousand channels from the mountain- 
top to the plain ; so is Christ's pure and life-giving doctrine 
diffused, flowing into the whole body through a thousand 
organs from the Ecclesia Docens." Murray, De Ecdesia, 
disp. x., n. 15, quoted by Ward. 

The Bishops III. The universal teaching of the Bishops and Priests 
is another mode of ecclesiastical testimony to revealed 
truth. The testimony of all the Bishops is in itself in- 
fallible, independently of the teaching of the inferior clergy 
and the belief of the Faithful, because the Episcopate is 
the chief organ of infallibility in the Church. It is, more- 
over, an infallible testimony at every moment of its duration 
(" I am with you all days "). This mode of testimony is 
sometimes called the testimony of the Particular Churches, 
because the teaching of each Bishop is reflected and 
repeated by the clergy and the Faithful of his diocese. 
Hence the testimony of the Priests and of Theological 
Schools in subordination to the Bishop holds a sort of 
intermediate position and value between the " Sensus fide- 
lium " and the testimony of the Episcopate. 

TheApos- IV. The central, perfect and juridical representative of 

Tradition is the Apostolic See. From the earliest times it 
has been the custom to consider the formula, "The Roman 
Church or Apostolic See hath held and doth hold," as 
equivalent to "The Catholic Church hath held and doth 
hold;" because the universal Church must hold, at least 
implicitly, the doctrines taught by the Holy See. When 
the Pope pronounces a judicial sentence he can bind the 
whole Church, teachers as well as taught, and the authority 
of his decisions is not impaired, even by opposition within 
the Teaching Body. Moreover, as a consequence of the 
connection between the Head of the Church and the 
Roman See, there exists in the local Roman Church, 
apart from the authoritative decisions of the Pope, a certain 

PART I.] Ecclesiastical Tradition. 75 

actual and normal testimony which must be considered as CHAP, TV 
an expression of the habitual teaching of the Holy See. 
This arises from the fact that the Faith professed in the 
Roman Church is the result of the constant teaching of 
the Popes, accepted by the laity and taught by the clergy, 
especially by the College of Cardinals who take part in the 
general government of the Church. 

V. Besides the Apostolic See and the ordinary Aposto- Extra- 
late, God has provided auxiliary channels of Ecclesiastical channels. 
Tradition in the person of the extraordinary auxiliary 
members described above, 12. Their position and im- 
portance have been defined by St. Augustine (Contra 
Julianum, 11. i. et ii., especially ii. c. 37), and by St. Vincent 
of Lerins who comments on the text of St. Augustine 
(Commonitor.) c. xxviii. sqq., and c. i. of the second Com- 
monitorium}. In the early days of the Church, when the 
teaching functions were almost exclusively exercised by the 
Bishops, the extraordinary representatives of Apostolical 
Tradition were usually eminent members of the episcopate. 
They received the name of " Fathers " because this was 
the title commonly given to Bishops by their subjects and 
by their successors. They are also called " Fathers of the 
Church," because, living as they did in the infancy of 
the Church, when extraordinary means were needed for 
its preservation, they received a more abundant outpouring 
of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and thus their doctrine 
represents His teaching in an eminent degree. Besides, 
their special function was to fix the substance of the 
Apostolic Deposit so that, naturally, their writings became 
the basis of the further development of doctrine, and 
were placed side by side with Scripture as channels of 
Apostolic doctrine. Thus they were the Fathers, not only 
of the Church in their own day, but also in subsequent 
ages. Compared with them, the later writers are regarded 
as the " Sons of the Fathers," and sometimes as " Paedagogi," 
with reference to what St. Paul says (i Cor. iv. 15), "If you 
have ten thousand instructors (paedogogi) in Christ, yet 
not many fathers." The Sons of the Fathers were not 
all bishops. Many of them were priests or members of 
Religious Orders, or masters of theological schools. They 

76 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. iv. represent the mind (sensus) of the Catholic Schools and 

SitCT. 24. L 

of the Faithful, and are distinguished for human learning 
and industry, which they apply to the development and 
fuller comprehension of doctrine rather than to the fixing 
of its substance. Hence their name of " Doctors " or 
" Theologians." 

SECT. 24. Documentary Tradition, the Expression 
of the Living Tradition. 

Documents I. Ecclesiastical Tradition by its very nature is oral. 

notn U eces^rj Writings and documents are not needed for its transmission ; 

to r n . Ia ' nevertheless they are useful for the purpose of fixing 
Tradition, and of remedying the imperfections of the 
human element Hence it follows that the Holy Ghost, 
Who watches over the living Tradition, must also assist 
in the production and preservation of such documents so 
as to cause them to present, if not an adequate, at least a 
more or less perfect exposition of previous Tradition. 

Written II. When the writings of the Fathers reproduce the 

wSthHOrai authentic teaching of the Church, they constitute a Written 
Tradition, equal in authority to the subsequent Oral 
Tradition, and are, like Holy Scripture, an objective and 
remote Rule of Faith running side by side with Oral Tra- 
dition. Still they are not by themselves a complete and 
independent Source and Rule of Faith. Like the Holy 
Scriptures, they too are in the Church's custody and are 
subject to the Church's interpretation. There can be no 
contradiction between the teaching of the Fathers and the 
doctrine of the Church ; apparent contradictions are due 
either to spuriousness or lack of authenticity on the part 
of the documents, or to a mistaken interpretation of them. 

official III. The various writings and documents which con- 

stitute Written Tradition may be divided into two classes. 

I. The first class comprises those which emanate from 
the official organs of Ecclesiastical Tradition in the exercise 
of their functions, and which, therefore, belong by their 
very nature to the Written Tradition, e.g. Decisions of the 
Popes and of Councils ; Liturgical documents and monu- 
ments, such as Liturgies, Sacramentaries, Ordines Romani, 
pictures, symbols, inscriptions, vases, etc., connected with 

PART I.] Ecclesiastical Tradition. 77 

public worship ; the writings of the Fathers and approved CHAP. iv. 
Theologians in so far as they contain distinct statements 
on the truths of Tradition. These documents and monu- 
ments have more than a mere historical value. They all 
participate more or less in the supernatural character of 
the living Tradition of which they are the emanation and 
exponents, and, even when they are not the work of the 
authors to whom they are ascribed, they may still be of 
great weight. 

2. The second class of documents is composed of those 
which, independently of the ecclesiastical rank of their 
author, or of the authority of the Church generally, con- 
tribute to the history or better scientific knowledge of 
Tradition. To this class may belong the writings of 
doubtful Catholics, and even of heretics and pagans. 
The two classes do not exclude each other. Many docu- 
ments belong to both, under different aspects. 

The Roman Catacombs have lately acquired great 
importance as monuments of the earliest Tradition. See 
Roma Sotteranea, by Dr. Northcote and Canon Brovvnlow. 

SECT. 25. Rules for demonstrating Revealed Truth from 
Ecclesiastical Tradition. 

The rules for the application of the laws mentioned in 
the above section may be gathered from the laws them- 
selves. Catholics, believing as they do in the Divine 
authority of Tradition, will of course obtain different re- 
sults from Protestants who acknowledge only its historical 
value. Catholics, too, will apply the rules differently, 
according as their object is to ascertain with infallible 
certitude the apostolicity of a truth, or to expound and 
defend it scientifically. 

I. For the Catholic it is not necessary to demon- R"i for 

i c 11 i t J-M . i ascertaining 

strate positively from coeval documents that the Church the aposto- 

11 . . . licityot'a 

has always borne actual witness to a given doctrine, doctrine. 
The scantiness of the documents, especially of those 
belonging to the sub-apostolic age, makes it even impos- 
sible. The Tradition of the present time, above all if it 
is attested by an authoritative definition, is quite suffi- 
cient to prove the former existence of the same Tradition, 

78 A Mamial of Catliolic Theology. [BOOK I. 

C slcT'2 IV ' a l tnou gh perhaps only in a latent state. Any further 
knowledge of its former existence is merely of scientific 
interest. When, however, the Ecclesiastical Tradition of 
the present is not publicly manifest, and the judges of the 
Faith have to decide some controverted question, they 
must investigate the Tradition of the past, or, as St. Vin- 
cent of Lerins expresses it, they must appeal to antiquity. 
It is not necessary to go back to an absolute antiquity : it 
is sufficient to find some time when the Tradition was 
undoubted. Thus, at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), the 
decisions were based upon the testimony of the Fathers of 
the fourth century. When the Tradition is not manifest 
either in the present or in the past, we can sometimes 
have recourse to the consent of the Fathers and Theo- 
logians of note. The temporary uncertainty and even 
partial negation of a doctrine within the Church is not, in 
in itself, a conclusive argument against the traditional 
character of the doctrine. The opposition can generally 
be shown to be purely human, and can often be turned 
to good account. We can sometimes ascertain its origin 
and show that the Church resisted it. Sometimes the 
difficulty arises from an appeal to merely local traditions ; 
or the opposition is inconsistent, varying, indefinite, mixed 
with opinions distinctly heretical or destructive of Catholic 
life and thought. It would be easy to prove that all these 
marks are applicable to the Gallican opposition to the 
Infallibility of the Pope. Even when the investigation of 
antiquity does not result in absolute certitude, it may at 
least produce a moral conviction, so that denial would 
be rash 

Scientific II. The Tradition of a truth being once established, 

and defence, a Catholic has no further interest in the investigation of 
its continuity, except for the purposes of science and 
apologetics. Heretics, moreover, have no right to demand 
direct proof of the antiquity of a doctrine. We may in- 
deed reply to their arguments from Tradition, and set 
before them the traces of the doctrine in the different ages, 
but it is better to prove to them the Catholic principle of 
Tradition, for which there is abundant historical evidence. 

PART L] Ecclesiastical Tradition. 79 


SECT. 26. The Writings of the Fathers. 

I. The " Fathers " are those representatives of Tra- who are 
dition who have been recognized by the Church as ex- 
celling in sanctity and in natural and supernatural gifts, 

and who belong to the early Church. This latter mark 
distinguishes them from the doctors who have lived in 
more recent times, but it has only a secondary influence 
upon their authority. No great significance was attached 
by the Council of Ephesus or the older theologians to the 
antiquity of the Fathers. The Church herself has be- 
stowed the title of " Doctor Ecclesiae," by which it honours 
the most illustrious Fathers in the Liturgy, upon many 
saints of later date, and has thereby put them on the same 
level. We may even say that the canonization of a theo- 
logical writer raises him to some extent to the dignity of 
a " Father." Still, the mark of antiquity is not without 
importance, as we have already explained. 

II. The domain of doctrine covered by the authority Subject- 
and infallibility of the Fathers is co-extensive with that of use of the 

i /'-i 11 1-1 TT -i authority of 

the Church, whose mouthpiece they are. Hence it does the Father* 
not embrace truths of a purely natural and philosophical 
character, or truths revealed only per accidens, because 
these are not part of the public teaching of the Church. 
On the other hand, their authority is not limited to their 
testimony to truths expressly and formally revealed, but 
extends to the dogmatico-theological interpretation of the 
whole Deposit of Revelation. The material and formal 
authority of the Fathers that is, the subject-matter with 
which they deal, and the ecclesiastical use of their writings 
are beautifully expressed by St. Vincent of Lerins, when 
speaking of the Fathers quoted at the Council of Ephesus : 
" Only these ten, the sacred number of the commandments, 
were brought forward at Ephesus as teachers, counsellors, 
witnesses, and judges ; [and the Council] holding their 
doctrine, following their advice, believing their testimony, 
and obeying their decision . . . passed judgment concern- 
ing the rules of Faith " (n. 30). The modern view which 
reduces the authority of the Fathers to that of mere 
historical witnesses could not better be refuted. 

So A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK l. 

CHAP. iv. ni. We must be careful to distinguish between the 

SECT. 26. 

, authority of one or a certain number of the Fathers, and 

We must J . 

distinguish the consentient testimony of all of them. It is evident 

between the . . 

consent of that the former is not infallible, because the Church s 

the Fathers ,. _,. .. . . ,, , 

and the approbation of their writings is not intended to be a 
oSiy some guarantee of the truth of all that they teach. Some par- 
ticular works, as, for instance, St. Cyril's Anathemas, have, 
however, received this guarantee. The Church's approba- 
tion implies: (i) that the writings approved were not 
opposed to any doctrine publicly held by the Church in 
the time of the author, and consequently were not subject 
to any censure ; (2) that the doctrines for which the 
Father was renowned, and on which he insisted most, are 
positively probable ; (3) that there is a strong presump- 
tion that the doubtful expressions of the Fathers should be 
interpreted in accordance with the commonly received 
doctrine, and that no discrepancy should be admitted 
among them except on the strongest grounds ; (4) under 
extraordinary circumstances it may give us a moral cer- 
tainty of a doctrine when, for instance, some illustrious 
Father has, without being contradicted by the Church, 
openly enforced that doctrine as being Catholic, and has 
treated those who deny it as heretics. When, however, all 
the Fathers agree, their authority attains its perfection. 
The consent of the Fathers has always been looked upon 
as of equal authority with the teaching of the whole 
Church, or the definitions of the Popes and Councils. 
But inasmuch as it is hardly possible to ascertain the 
opinions of every Father on every point of doctrine, 
and as the Holy Ghost prevents the Church from ascrib- 
ing to the whole body of the Fathers any doctrine which 
they did not hold, it follows that the consent of the Fathers 
must be regarded as fully ascertained whenever those 
of them whose writings deal with a given doctrine agree 
absolutely or morally, provided that they are numerous 
and belong to different countries and times. The number 
required varies with the nature of the doctrine, which may 
be public, a matter of daily practice and of great import- 
ance, or, on the other hand, may be of an abstract, specu- 
lative character, and comparatively unimportant : and with 

PART I.] Ecclesiastical Tradition. 81 

the personal authority of the Fathers, with their position CHAP. iv. 
in the Church, with the amount of opposition to the ^l* 7 ' 
doctrine, and with many other circumstances. 

The Consent of the Fathers does not always prove the 
Catholic character of a doctrine in the same way. If they 
distinctly state that a doctrine is a public dogma of the 
Church, the doctrine must be at once accepted. If they 
merely state that the doctrine is true and taught by the 
Church, without formally attributing to it the character of 
a dogma, this testimony has by no means the same weight. 
The doctrine thus attested cannot, on that account, be 
treated as a dogma. Nevertheless it is at least a Catholic 
truth and morally certain, and the denial of it would 
deserve the censure of temerity of error. 

IV. The authority of the Fathers is held in high They hv 
esteem by the Church in the interpretation of Scripture, authority in 
They made the Bible their especial study, whereas later sa^ptu"^!" 8 
writers have not been so directly concerned with it, and 
when they have treated of it they have followed the 
lead of the Fathers. The consent of the Fathers is a 
positive and not an exclusive rule, i.e. the interpretation 
must be in accordance with it where it exists, but where 
it does not exist we may lawfully interpret even in opposi- 
tion to the opinions of some of the Fathers. This consent 
must be gathered from all their writings and not merely 
from their commentaries, because in the latter they often 
have in view particular points of doctrine of a practical or 
ascetic nature, whereas in their other writings they are 
rather engaged in expounding Catholic dogma. But even 
in both kinds of writings a complete scientific exposition 
of the text can seldom be found, because, as a rule, the 
Fathers have in hand some particular doctrine which they 
endeavour to draw from and base upon the text. Hence 
the many apparent differences in their exegesis, which 
may, however, be easily explained by a collation of the 
various passages. (See supra, p. 65.) 

SECT. 27. The Writings of Theologians. 

I. By Theologians we mean men learned in Theology, who ar 
who as members or masters of the theological schools tf^V" 


82 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK j. 

CHAP. iv. which came into existence after the patristic era, taught 
^II. 27 ' and handed down Catholic doctrine on strictly scientific 
lines, in obedience to and under the supervision of the 
bishops. The title belongs primarily to the Schoolmen 
of the Middle Ages the Scholastic Theologians strictly 
so-called ; then to all who followed the methods of the 
School during the last three centuries ; and, generally, 
to all distinguished and approved writers on Theology 
whether they have adhered to the Scholastic methods or 
not. It is only in exceptional cases that the Church gives 
a public approbation to an individual Theologian, and 
this is done by canonization or by the still further honour 
of conferring on him the title of Doctor of the Church. 
When we speak of an Approved Author, we mean one who 
is held in general esteem on account of his learning and 
the Catholic spirit of his teaching. Some approved authors 
are of acknowledged weight, while others are of only minor 
importance. What we are about to state concerning the 
authority of Theologians must not be applied indis- 
criminately to every Catholic writer, but only to such as 
are weighty and approved (auctores probati et graves). 
The II. The authority of Theologians, like that of the 

Theologians. Fathers, may be considered either individually and par- 
tially, or of the whole body collectively. As a rule, the 
authority of a single Theologian (with the exception of 
canonized Saints, and perhaps some authors of the 
greatest weight) does not create the presumption that 
no point of his doctrine was opposed to the common 
teaching of the Church in his day ; much less that, in- 
dependently of his reasons, the whole of his doctrine is 
positively probable merely on account of his authority. 
When, however, the majority of approved and weighty 
Theologians agree, it must be presumed that their teaching 
is not opposed to that of the Church. Moreover, if their 
doctrines are based upon sound arguments propounded 
without any prejudice and not contradicted very decidedly, 
the positive probability of the doctrines must be presumed. 
No more than this probability can be produced by the 
consent of many or even of all Theologians when they 
state a doctrine as a common opinion (ppinio communis) 

PAKT I.] Ecclesiastical Tradition. 83 

and not as a common conviction (sentcntia communis). CHAP. TV. 
These questions have been discussed at great length by E fl_ 27 ' 
Moral Theologians in the controversy on Probabilism. 
See Lacroix, Theol. Mor., lib. L, tr. i., c. 2. 

The consent of Theologians produces certainty that 
a doctrine is Catholic truth only when on the one hand the 
doctrine is proposed as absolutely certain, and on the other 
hand the consent is universal and constant (Consensus 
wtiversalis et constans non solum opinionis sed firma et rates 
sentcntia). If all agree that a particular doctrine is a 
Catholic dogma and that to deny it is heresy, then that 
doctrine is certainly a dogma. If they agree that a 
doctrine cannot be denied without injuring Catholic truth, 
and that such denial is deserving of censure, this again 
is a sure proof that the doctrine is in some way a Catholic 
doctrine. If, again, they agree in declaring that a doctrine 
is sufficiently certain and demonstrated, their consent is 
not indeed a formal proof of the Catholic character of the 
doctrine, nevertheless the existence of the consent shows 
that the doctrine belongs to the mind of the Church 
(catholicns intellectus), and that consequently its denial 
would incur the censure of rashness. 

These principles on the authority of Theologians were 
strongly insisted on by Pius IX. in the brief, Gravissimas 
inter (cf. infra, 29), and they are evident consequences of 
the Catholic doctrine of Tradition. Although the assist- 
ance of the Holy Ghost is not directly promised to Theo- 
logians, nevertheless the assistance promised to the Church 
requires that He should prevent them as a body from 
falling into error ; otherwise the Faithful who follow them 
would all be led astray. The consent of Theologians 
implies the consent of the Episcopate, according to St. 
Augustine's dictum : " Not to resist an error is to approve 
of it not to defend a truth is to reject it." * And even 
natural reason assures us that this consent is a guarantee 
of truth. " Whatever is found to be one and the same 
among many persons is not an error but a tradition " 
(Tertullian). (Supra, p. 68.) 

1 "Error cui non resistitur approbatur, et veritas quae non defenditur 
opprimilur" (Deer. Grat., dist. 83, c. error). 

8^ A Manual of Catholic Theology. [Book 1 

CHAP iv. The Church holds the mediaeval Doctors in almost the 
SK ~ 27 ' same esteem as the Fathers. The substance of the teaching 
of the Schoolmen and their method of treatment have both 
been strongly approved of by the Church (cf. Syllab., prop, 
xiii., and Leo XIII., encyclical jEterni Pairis on the studv 
of St. Thomas). 



SECT. 28. The Rule of Faith considered generally ; and 
also specially in its Active Sense. 

I. THE nature and dignity of the Word of God require CHAP. v. 
that submission to it should not be left to the choice E ^- 2 ' 
of man, but should be made obligatory. The Church to^hTword 
should put it forth in such a way as to bind all her members obligatory. 
to adhere to it in common, and with one voice and in all 
its fulness, as a public and social law. 

II. The Rule of Faith was given to the Church in the The remote 
very act of Revelation and its promulgation by the m^Ruie. 
Apostles. But for this Rule to have an actual and perma- 
nently efficient character, it must be continually promul- 
gated and enforced by the living Apostolate, which must 

exact from all members of the Church a docile Faith in the 
truths of Revelation authoritatively proposed, and thus 
unite the whole body of the Church, teachers and taught, 
in perfect unity of Faith. Hence the original promulgation 
is the remote Rule of Faith, and the continuous promulga 
tion by the Teaching Body is the proximate Rule. 

III. The fact that all the members of the Church The 
actually agree in one Faith is the best proof of the effi- of 'the'"* 
ciency of the Catholic Rule of Faith. This universality is "e'R^of 
not the Rule of Faith itself, but rather its effect. Individual Fakh> 
members are indeed bound to conform their belief to that 

of the whole community, but this universal belief is pro- 
duced by the action of the Teaching Apostolate, the 
members of which are in their turn subject to their Chief. 
Hence the Catholic Rule of Faith may be ultimately 

86 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [POOR I. 

CHAP. v. reduced to the sovereign teaching authority of the Holy 
tcr-ji . g ee This was asserted long ago in the Creed drawn up 
by Pope Hormisdas : " Wherefore following in all things 
the Apostolic See and upholding all its decrees, I hope 
that it may be mine to be with you in the one communion 
taught by the Apostolic See, in which is the true and 
complete solidity of the Christian Religion ; and I promise 
also not to mention in the Holy Mysteries the names 
of those who have been excommunicated from the Catholic 
Church that is, those who agree not with the Apostolic 

Proposition IV. The act or collection of acts whereby the Word 
by'the c of God is enforced as the Rule of Catholic Faith is called 
Cnurdi. j n technical language " Proposition by the Church " (Pro- 
positio Ecclesia, Vat. Council, sess. iii. chap. 3). It is called 
" Proposition " because it is an authoritative promulgation 
of a law, already contained in Revelation, enjoining belief 
in what is proposed ; and " Proposition by or of the Church," 
because it emanates from the Teaching Body and is 
addressed to the Body of the Faithful ; and not in the 
sense that it emanates from the entire community. 
The manner V. The manner in which the Proposition is made and 
proportion, the form which it assumes are determined by the nature 
of the Teaching Apostolate and of the truths proposed. 
The ordinary Proposition of the law of Faith is identical 
with the ordinary exercise of the Teaching Apostolate ; 
for the Word of God by its very nature exacts the obedience 
of Faith, and is communicated to the Faithful with the 
express intention of enforcing belief. Hence the ordinary 
teaching is necessarily a promulgation of the law of Faith 
and an injunction of the duty to believe, and consequently 
the law of Faith is naturally an unwritten law. But the 
Proposition of or by the Church takes the form of a Statute 
or written law when promulgated in a solemn decision. 
Such decisions, however, are not laws strictly speaking, 
but are merely authoritative declarations of laws already 
enacted by God, and in most instances they only enforce 
what is already the common practice. Both forms, written 
and unwritten, are of equal authority, but the written 
form is the more precise. Both also rest ultimately on 

PART L] The Rule of Faith. 87 

the authority of the Head of the Apostolate. No judicial CHAP. v. 
sentence in matters of Faith is valid unless pronounced or 
approved by him ; and the binding force of the unwritten 
form arises from his tacit sanction. 

VI. The authority of the Church's Proposition enforcing The extent 
obedience to its decrees and guaranteeing their infallibility, church's 
is not restricted to matters of Divine Faith and Divine 
Revelation, although these are its principal subject-matter. 

The Teaching Apostolate, in order to realize the objects 
of Revelation, i.e. to preserve the Faith not only in its 
substance but also in its entirety, must extend its activity 
beyond the sphere of Divine Faith and Divine Revelation. 
But in such matters the Apostolate requires only an 
undoubting and submissive acceptance and not Divine 
Faith, and consequently is, so far, a rule of theological 
knowledge and conviction rather than a Rule of Divine 
Faith. Hence there exists in the Church, side by side 
with and completing the Rule of Faith, a Rule of Theolo- 
gical Thought or Religious Conviction, to which every 
Catholic must submit internally as well as externally. 
Any refusal to submit to this law implies a spiritual re- 
volt against the authority of the Church and a rejection 
of her supernatural veracity; and is, if not a direct denial 
of Catholic Faith, at least a direct denial of Catholic Pro- 

VII. The judicial, legislative, and other similar acts of Disciplinary 
the members of the Teaching Apostolate are not all abso- esua 
solutely binding rules of Faith and theological thought, 

but rather resemble police regulations. These disciplinary 
measures may under certain circumstances command at 
least a respectful and confident assent, the refusal of which 
involves disrespect and temerity. For instance, when the 
Church forbids the teaching of certain points of doctrine, 
or commands the teaching of one opinion in preference to 
another, external submission is required, but there is also 
an obligation to accept the favoured view as morally cer- 
tain. When a judicial decision has been given on some 
point of doctrine, but has not been given or approved by 
the highest authority, such decision per se imposes only 
the obligation of external obedience. Points of doctrine 

88 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP v. expressed, recommended, and insisted upon in papal allocu- 
"^II 89 ' tions or encyclical letters but not distinctly defined, may 
create the obligation of strict obedience and undoubting 
assent, or may exact merely external submission and ap- 
proval. Thus in the Rule of Faith we distinguish three 
degrees : (i) the Rule of Faith in matters directly revealed, 
exacting the obedience of Faith ; (2) the Rule of Faith in 
matters theologically connected with Revelation, exacting 
respect and external submission, and, indirectly, internal 
assent of a certain grade ; (3) the Rule of Faith in matters 
of discipline, exacting submission and reverence. 

The difference between the rules of theological know- 
ledge and the disciplinary measures is important. The 
former demand universal and unconditional obedience, the 
latter only respect and reverence. Moderate Liberalism, 
represented in the seventeenth century by Holden (Analysis 
Fidei), in the eighteenth century by Muratori (De Ingeniormn 
Moderatione) and Chrismann (Regula Fidei), is an attempt 
to conciliate Extreme Liberalism by giving up these various 
distinctions, and reducing all decisions either to formal 
definitions of Faith or to mere police regulations. 

SECT. 29. Dogmas and Matters of Opinion. 

nogmas. I. Everything revealed by God, or Christ, or the Holy 

Ghost is by that very fact a Divine or Christian Dogma ; 
when authoritatively proposed by the Apostles it became 
an Apostolic Dogma ; when fully promulgated by the 
Church, Ecclesiastical Dogma. In the Church's language 
a dogma pure and simple is at the same time ecclesiastical, 
apostolic, and Divine. But a merely Divine Dogma that 
is, revealed by God but not yet explicitly proposed by the 
Church is called a Material (as opposed to Formal) 

tb"of fica ~ * Dogmas may be classified according to (a) their 

Dogmas. various subject-matters, (b} their promulgation, and (c] the 

different kinds of moral obligation to know them. 

(a) Dogmas may be divided in the same way as the con- 
tents of Revelation ( 5) except that matters revealed per 
accidens are not properly dogmas. It is, however, a dogma 
that Holy Scripture, in the genuine text, contains undoubted 

PART L] The Rule of Faith. 89 

truth throughout. And consequently the denial of matters CHAP. v. 
revealed/^ accidens is a sin against Faith, because it im- E f^_ 29 - 
plies the assertion that Holy Scripture contains error. 
This principle accounts for the opposition to Galileo. The 
motions of the sun and the earth are not indeed matters of 
dogma, but the great astronomer's teaching was accom- 
panied by or at any rate involved the assertion that Scrip- 
ture was false in certain texts. 

(b) With regard to their promulgation by the Church, 
dogmas are divided into Material and Formal. Formal 
Dogmas are subdivided into Defined and Undefined. 

(c} With regard to the obligation of knowing them, 
dogmas are to be believed either Implicitly or Explicitly. 
Again, the necessity of knowing them is of two kinds : 
Necessity of Means (necessitas medit) and Necessity of 
Precept (necessitas prcecepti} ; that is, the belief in some 
dogmas is a necessary condition of salvation, apart from 
any positive command of the Church, while the obligation 
to believe in others arises from her positive command 
The former may be called Fundamental, because they 
are most essential. We do not, however, admit the Lati- 
tudinarian distinction between Fundamental articles, i.e. 
which must be believed, and Non-fundamental articles 
which need not be believed. All Catholics are bound to 
accept, at least implicitly, every dogma proposed by the 

2. The Criteria, or means of knowing Catholic truth, Criteria of 
may be easily gathered from the principles already stated. 
They are nearly all set forth in the Brief Tuas Libenter, 
addressed by Pius IX. to the Archbishop of Munich. 

The following are the criteria of a dogma of Faith : 
(a) Creeds or Symbols of Faith generally received ; (b) 
dogmatic definitions of the Popes or of ecumenical coun- 
cils, and of particular councils solemnly ratified ; (c) the 
undoubtedly clear and indisputable sense of Holy Scrip- 
ture in matters relating to Faith and morals ; (d) the uni- 
versal and constant teaching of the Apostolate, especially 
the public and permanent tradition of the Roman Church ; 
(e) universal practice, especially in liturgical matters, where 
it clearly supposes and professes a truth as undoubtedly 

90 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK l. 

CHAP. v. revealed ; (/") the teaching of the Fathers when manifest 
29 ' and universal ; (g) the teaching of Theologians when mani- 
fest and universal. 

Matters of II. Between the doctrines expressly defined by the 
Church and those expressly condemned stand what may 
be called matters of opinion or free opinions. Freedom, 
however, like certainty, is of various degrees, especially in 
religious and moral matters. Where there is no distinct 
definition there may be reasons sufficient to give us moral 
certainty. To resist these is not, indeed, formal disobedience, 
but only rashness. Where there are no such reasons this 
censure is not incurred. It is not possible to determine 
exactly the boundaries of these two groups of free opinions ; 
they shade off into each other, and range from absolute free- 
dom to morally certain obligation to believe. In this sphere 
of Approximative Theology, as it may be styled, there, are 
(i) doctrines which it is morally certain that the Church 
acknowledges as revealed (veritates fidei proximo) ; (2) 
theological doctrines which it is morally certain that the 
Church considers as belonging to the integrity of the Faith, 
or as logically connected with revealed truth, and conse- 
quently the denial of which is approximate to theological 
error (errori theologico proximo) ; (3) doctrines neither 
revealed nor logically deducible from revealed truths, but 
useful or even necessary for safeguarding Revelation : to 
deny these would be rash (temerariuni). These three 
degrees were rejected by the Minimizers mentioned at the 
end of the last section, and all matters not strictly defined 
were considered as absolutely free. Pius IX., however, on 
the occasion of the Munich Congress in 1863, addressed 
a Brief to the Archbishop of that city laying down the 
Catholic principles on the subject. The 22nd Proposition 
condemned in the "Syllabus" was taken from this Brief, 
and runs thus : " The obligation under which Catholic 
teachers and writers lie is restricted to those matters which 
are proposed for universal belief as dogmas of Faith by 
the infallible judgment of the Church." And the Vatican 
Council says, at the end of the first constitution, " It suffi- 
ceth not to avoid heresy unless those errors which more 
or less approach thereto are sedulously shunned." 

PART ij The Rule of Faith. 91 

CHAP, v 
SECT. 30. Definitions and Judicial Decisions considered SECT - 3- 


The chief rules of Catholic belief are the definitions 
and decisions of the Church. Before we study them in 
detail, it will be well to treat of the elements and forms 
more or less common to them all. 

I. Definitions and decisions are essentially acts of the Definitions 

J and 

teaching power, in the strictest sense of the word ; acts decisions, 


whereby the holder of this power lays down authoritatively 
what his subjects are bound to accept as Catholic doctrine 
or reject as anti-Catholic. Hence, as distinguished from 
other acts of the Teaching Apostolate, they are termed 
decrees, statutes, constitutions, definitions, decisions con- 
cerning the Faith. In the modern language of the Church, 
" Definition " means the positive and final decision in 
matters of Faith (dogmas), and " Judgment " means the 
negative decision whereby false doctrines are condemned 
(censures). The wording of definitions is not restricted to 
any particular form. Sometimes they take the form of a 
profession of Faith : " The Holy Synod believeth and con- 
fesseth ; " at other times they take the form of a declaration 
of doctrine, as in the " chapters " of the Council of Trent 
and the Vatican Council, or of canons threatening with 
" anathema " all who refuse to accept the Church's 

II. The general object of authoritative decisions in The objects 

j -ill-- ofDefim- 

doctnnal matters is to propose dogmas in clear and distinct tionsand 
form to the Faithful, and thereby to promote the glory of 
God, the salvation of souls, and the welfare of the Church. 
Sometimes, however, there are certain specific objects ; 
e.g., (i) to remove existing doubts. The definitions of 
the Immaculate Conception and the Infallibility of the 
Pope are cases in point. (2) To condemn criminal doubts 
prevailing against dogmas already defined, e.g. the case of 
the five propositions of Jansenius. (3) To prevent future 
doubts and to confirm the Faith of the weak. In this 
case, as in the preceding, the new definition takes the form 
of a confirmation or renewal of a former definition. Thus 
the Vatican Council, at the end of its first constitution, 

92 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 1. 

CHAP. v. insists upon the duty of conformity to the doctrinal decision 
- J ' of the Holy See. The question of the " Opportuneness " 
of a definition must be decided by the judges themselves. 
Under certain circumstances they may withhold or post- 
pone a definition in order to avoid greater evils, as in the 
case of the Gallican doctrines. Once the definition is 
given, there can be no further question as to its opportune- 
ness. The Holy Ghost, who assists in making the defini- 
tion, also assists in fixing its time. 

The Sources III. Authoritative definitions and decisions can 
"ion^nnd emanate only from the holders of the teaching power in 
ns< the Church. Learned men and learned societies, such as 
universities, may publish statements of their views, and 
may thus prepare the way for a dogmatic definition. These 
statements may even have greater weight than the decisions 
of individual bishops. Nevertheless they are merely pro- 
visional, and stand to the final judgment in the relation of 
a consulting vote. Hence the importance of acting in con- 
junction with the Holy See. Even from the earliest times 
it has been the rule to refer to Rome the more important 
questions of Faith, and in recent times bishops and local 
(as opposed to general) councils have been ordered not to 
attempt to decide doubtful questions, but only to expound 
and enforce what has already been approved. 

Each holder of the teaching power can judge indi- 
vidually, except those whose power is only delegated, and 
those who by reason of their functions are bound to act in 
concert ; as, for instance, the Cardinals in the Roman Con- 
gregations. Still, it follows from their office, and it has 
always been the practice of the Church, that the Bishops, 
as inferior judges, should judge collectively in synods and 
councils, except when they act simply as promulgators 
or executors of decisions already given. The Pope, the 
supreme and universal judge, is subject to no other judges 
or tribunals, but all are subject to him. Matters of general 
interest (causes communes) or of great importance (causes 
majores] are of his cognizance. He is the centre of unity, 
and he possesses, in virtue of his sovereign power, a 
guarantee of veracity which does not belong to individual 
Bishops. But before coming to any decision he is bound 

PART I.] The Rule of Faith. 93 

to study the Sources of Faith, and to consult his advisers CHAP. v. 
either individually or collectively. He may, nay some- SE fU- 
times he must allow his ordinary and extraordinary coun- 
sellors to act as subordinate colleges of judges, whose 
decisions he afterwards completes by adding his own. He 
may also place himself at the head of these various colleges, 
so that the members become his assessors. " The bishops 
of the whole world sitting and judging with us," says the 
Procemium of the first constitution of the Vatican Council. 
The same council also enumerates the various ways in 
which the Popes prepare their definitions: "The Roman 
Pontiffs, according as circumstances required, at one time, 
by summoning ecumenical councils, or by ascertaining the 
opinion of the Church dispersed over the world ; at another 
time, by means of local synods, or again by other means 
have defined that those things are to be held which they 
have found to be in harmony with the Sacred Writings 
and Apostolical Traditions " (sess. iv., chap. 4). 

IV. Dogmatic definitions being judicial acts presuppose investig*. 
an investigation of the case (cognitio causes). If this is not advisable, 
made, the judge acts rashly, but the judgment is binding. abLTiuLiy 
When the authority of the judge is not supreme, and con- necessary * 
sequently the presumption in favour of the justice of the 
judgment is not absolute, a statement of the reasons may 
be necessary, and an examination of them may be per- 
mitted. Sometimes even the highest authority states his 
reasons for coming to a decision, but he does this merely 
to render submission easy. As regards the manner of 
conducting the investigation of the case, it should be noted 
that an examination of the Sources of Faith and the 
hearing of witnesses, although integral portions of the 
judicial functions, are not always necessary. When an 
already-defined doctrine has only to be enforced these 
processes may be dispensed with. However, even in this 
case, they may be advisable, so as to remove all suspicion 
of rashness or prejudice, and to enable the judges to affirm 
that they speak of their own full knowledge (ex plena et 
propria cognitions causes}. 1 

1 Cf. the well-known letter of St. Leo to Theocloret (ep. 120, ed. Jlnl- 

94 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 1. 

CHAP. v. Although doctrinal definitions are always supported by 
" ' strong arguments, their binding force does not depend 
on these arguments but upon the supernatural authority of 
the judges, in virtue of which they are entitled to say, " It 
hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us." In the 
case of individual judges the Divine guarantee depends 
upon the legitimacy of their appointment ; in the case of 
councils or other bodies of judges it depends upon the 
legitimacy of their convocation. Hence the expression, 
"The synod lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost (In 
Spiritu Sancto legitime congregate?}? We must, however, 
remember that the Divine guarantee is perfect only when 
final decisions for the universal Church are given. In other 
cases it is merely presumptive, and this presumption is 
not sufficient to make the judgment infallible or to exact 
unconditional submission. The formula, " It hath seemed 
good to the Holy Ghost and to us," does not necessarily 
imply that the accompanying judgment is infallible. The 
authority of the judgment depends upon the rank of the 
judge. Inferior ecclesiastical judges as a rule ask the Pope 
to ratify their decisions, or they add the qualification, 
" Saving the judgment or under correction of the Apostolic 
See (salvo jtidicio, sub correctione Sedis Apostoliccz}" Hence 
no process is complete and final until the Holy See has 
given its judgment. 

We shall now examine the various sources of Decisions 
and Judgments. 

SECT. 31. Papal Judgments and their Infallibility. 

rhe Pope I. The Pope, the Father and Teacher of all Christians 

and the Head of the Universal Church, is the supreme 
judge in matters of Faith and Morals, and is the regulator 
and centre of Catholic Unity. His decisions are without 
appeal and are absolutely binding upon all. In order to 
possess this perfect right and power to exact universal 
assent and obedience it is necessary that they should be 
infallible. The Vatican Council, completing the definitions 
of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, the Second 
Council of Lyons, and the Council of Florence, and the 
Profession of Faith of Pope Hormisdas, thus defines Papal 

PART I.] The Riile of Faith. 95 

Infallibility: "The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex CHAP. v. 
cathedra that is, when, in discharge of the office of Pastor "fH.-* 1 - 
and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme 
Apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding Faith 
or Morals to be held by the Universal Church by the 
Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is pos- 
sessed of that Infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer 
willed that His Church should be endowed for defining 
doctrine regarding Faith or Morals ; and therefore such 
definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of them- 
selves and not from the consent of the Church." * 

II. The person in whom the Infallibility is vested is when the 
the Roman Pontiff speaking ex cathedra; that is to say, infallible, 
exercising the highest doctrinal authority inherent in the 
Apostolic See. Whenever the Pope speaks as Supreme 
Teacher of the Church, he speaks ex cathedra ; nor is there 
any other ex cathedra teaching besides his. The definition 
therefore leaves no room for the sophistical distinction 
made by the Gallicans between the See and its occupant 
(St?des, Sedens), An ex cathedra judgment is also declared 
to be supreme and universally binding. Its subject-matter 
is " doctrine concerning Faith or Morals ; " that is, all 
and only such points of doctrine as are or may be pro- 
posed for the belief of the Faithful. The form of the ex 
cathedra judgment is the exercise of the Apostolic power 
with intent to bind all the Faithful in the unity of the 

The nature and extent of the Infallibility of the Pope 
are also contained in the definition. This Infallibility is the 
result of a Divine assistance. It differs both from Revela- 
tion and Inspiration. It does not involve the manifestation 
of any new doctrine, or the impulse to write down what God 
reveals. It supposes, on the contrary, an investigation of 

1 " Definimus : Romanum Pontificem, cum ex cathedra loquitur, id est, 
cum omnium Christianorum Pastoris et Doctoris munere fungens, pro suprema 
sua Apostolica auctoritate doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab universa Ecclesia 
tenendam definit, per assistentiam divinam, ipsi in beato Petro promissam, ea 
infallibilitate pollere, qua divinus Redemptor Ecclesiam suam in definienda 
doctrina de fide vel moribus instructam esse voluerit; ideoque ejusmodi Romani 
Pontificis definitiones ex sese, non autem ex consensu Ecclesiae irreformabiles 
esse " (Concil. Vat., sess. iv., cap. 4). 

96 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

CHAP. v. revealed truths, and only prevents the Pope from omitting 
BCT.I. j nves t:igation and from erring in making it. The 

Divine assistance is not granted to the Pope for his personal 
benefit, but for the benefit of the Church. Nevertheless, it 
is granted to him directly as the successor of St. Peter, and 
not indirectly through the medium of the Church. The 
extent of the Infallibility of the Pope is determined partly 
by its subject-matter, partly by the words " possessed of 
that Infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed 
that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine 
regarding Faith or Morals." Moreover, the object of the 
Infallibility of the Pope and of the Infallibility of the 
Church being the same, their extent must also coincide. 

From the Infallibility of ex cathedra judgments, the 
council deduces their Irreformability, and further establishes 
the latter by excluding the consent of the Church as the 
necessary condition of it. The approbation of the Church 
is the consequence not the cause of the Irreformability of 
ex cathedra judgments. 
Form* of HI. Ex cathedra decisions admit of great variety of 

tjc cathedra. * 

decisions, form. At the same time, in the documents containing such 
decisions only those passages are infallible which the judge 
manifestly intended to be so. Recommendations, proofs, 
and explanations accompanying the decision are not neces- 
sarily infallible, except where the explanation is itself the 
dogmatic interpretation of a text of Scripture, or of a rule 
of Faith, or in as far as it fixes the meaning and extent 
of the definition. It is not always easy to draw the line 
between the definition and the other portions of the docu- 
ment. The ordinary rules for interpreting ecclesiastical 
documents must be applied. The commonest forms of ex 
cathedra decisions used at the present time are the follow- 
ing : 

Comtitu- i. The most solemn form is the Dogmatic Constitu- 

tions and . 

Bulls. tion, or Bull, in which the decrees are proposed expressly 

as ecclesiastical laws, and are sanctioned by heavy penal- 
ties ; e.g. the Constitutions Unigenitus and Auctorem Fidei 
against the Jansenists, and the Bull Ineffabilis Deus on the 
Immaculate Conception. 
Encyclical* 2. Next in solemnity are Encyclical Letters, so far as 

PAST L] The Rule of Faith. 97 

they are of a dogmatic character. They resemble Consti- CHAP. v. 
tutions and Bulls, but, as a rule, they impose no penalties, f^. 38 - 
Some of them are couched in strictly juridical terms, such 
as the Encyclical Quanta cura, while others are more 
rhetorical in style. In the latter case it is not absolutely 
certain that the Pope speaks infallibly. 

3. Apostolic Letters and Briefs, even when not directly Letters and 
addressed to the whole Church, must be considered as ex 
cathedra when they attach censures to the denial of certain 
doctrines, or when, like Encyclicals, they define or condemn 

in strict judicial language, or in equivalent terms. But it 
is often extremely difficult to determine whether these 
letters are dogmatic or only monitory and administrative. 
Doubts on the subject are sometimes removed by subse- 
quent declarations. 

4. Lastly, the Pope can speak ex cathedra by confirm- Confirm*, 
ing and approving of the decisions of other tribunals, such 

as general or particular councils, or Roman Congregations. 
In ordinary cases, however, the approbation of a particular 
council is merely an act of supervision, and the decision of 
a Roman Congregation is not ex cathedra unless the Pope 
makes it his own. 

SECT. 32. General Councils. 

I. The Pope, speaking ex cathedra, is infallible inde- A General 
pendently of the consent of the subordinate members of^ffl, 
' the Teaching Body. On the other hand, the whole of the autho>rit >'- 
Bishops apart from the Pope cannot pronounce an infallible 
judgment The Pope, however, can assemble the Bishops 
and constitute them into a tribunal which represents the 
Teaching Body more efficiently than the Pope alone. Their 
judgments given conjointly with his are the most com- 
plete expression of the Teaching Body. This assembly 
Is termed a Universal or Ecumenical Council. It is not 
an independent tribunal superior to the Pope. It must be 
convened by him, or at least with his consent and co-opera- 
tion ; all the Bishops of the Church must be commanded, 
or at least invited to attend ; a considerable number of 
Bishops must be actually present, either personally or by 
deputy ; and the assembled prelates must conduct their 


98 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. v. deliberations and act under the direction of the Pope or his 

SECT. 12 

- legates. Some of the Councils styled ecumenical do not, 
however, fulfil all of these conditions. The First and Second 
Councils of Constantinople are well-known instances. But 
these Councils were not originally considered as ecumenical 
except in the sense of being numerously attended, or on 
account of the ambition of the Patriarchs. It was only 
in the sixth century, some time after the Creed of the 
First Council of Constantinople had been adopted at 
Chalcedon, that this Council was put on a level with those 
of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. Similar remarks apply 
to the Second Council of Constantinople. See Hefele 
vol. i., p. 41, and vol. ii., 100. 

It may seem strange that none of the early Western 
Councils, although presided over by the Roman Pontiff 
and accepted by the whole Church, received the title of 
Ecumenical. This, however, may be easily accounted for. 
The Western Councils only represented the Roman patri- 
archate, and consequently their authority was identical 
with that of the Holy See. Moreover, before the Great 
Schism the notion of a General Council was that of a co- 
operation of the East with the West : in other words, of 
the other patriarchates with the patriarchate of Rome. 
The Eastern Bishops attended personally, whereas the 
Pope and the Western Council sent deputies. Thus a 
Council, although meeting in the East, was really com- 
posed of representatives of the whole Church. The later 
Councils held in the West were far more conformable to 
the theological notions already given, because the entire, 
episcopate was convened in one place, by express com- 
mand, not by mere invitation, and the body of the Bishops 
acted on the strength of their Divine mission, no distinc. 
tion being made in favour of patriarchs or metropolitans, or 
other dignitaries. 

The II. Councils, when defining a dogma, perform a double 

Genera" 80 function : they act as witnesses and as judges. The co- 
operation of the Pope is especially required as supreme 
judge. Care must be taken not to lay too much stress on 
the function of witnessing, lest the importance of the papal 
co-operation be unduly minimized and the true notion of a 

PART ij The Rule of Faith. 99 

council be distorted. It is true, indeed, that many expres- CHAP. v. 
sions of the Fathers of the fourth century concerning the E ^_ 32 ' 
Council of Nicaea seem to insist almost exclusively on the 
witnessing function. We must, however, remember that 
this Council was the first of the General Councils, and 
that under the then existing circumstances an appeal to 
the solemn testimony of so many Bishops was the best 
argument against the heretics. The subsequent Councils, 
especially the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, followed 
quite a different line of action. Stress was there laid upon 
the judicial function, and consequently upon the influence 
of the Roman Pontiff and the various grades of hierarchical 

III. The special object of General Councils is to attain Th eo f>i:t 
completely and perfectly the ends which particular councils couS^ 
can attain only partially and imperfectly. In relation to 

the Pope's judgment, which is in itself a complete judg- 
ment, the object of General Councils is (i) to give the 
greatest possible assistance to the Pope in the preparation 
of his own judgment by means of the testimony and scien- 
tific knowledge of the assessors ; (2) to give the Papal 
definition the greatest possible force and efficacy by the 
combined action and sentence of all the judges ; and (3) 
to help the Pope in the execution and enforcement of his 
decisions by the promulgation and subsequent action of 
the assembled judges. The co-operation of the Council 
brings the testimony and the judicial power of the whole 
Church to bear upon the decision of the Pope. 

IV. The action of General Councils essentially consists The Pope 
in the co-operation of the members with their Head. To council, 
the Pope therefore belongs the authoritative direction of 

all the proceedings of the Council. He can, if he chooses 
to exercise his right, determine what questions shall be 
dealt with and the manner of dealing with them. Hence 
no decision is legitimate if carried against his will or 
without his consent. Even a decision accepted by his 
legates, without an express order from him, is not abso- 
lutely binding. On the other hand, no decision is unlawful 
or void on account of a too extensive use of the papal 
right of direction, because in such a case the restriction of 

TOO A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. v. liberty is caused by the internal and legitimate principle 
' '-*' of order, not by external and illegitimate pressure. The 
decision would not be illegitimate even if, as in many of 
the earlier Councils, and indeed in all Councils convoked 
for the purpose of promulgating and enforcing already 
existing papal decisions, the Pope commanded the accept- 
ance of his sentence without any discussion. At most, the 
result of this pressure would affect the moral efficiency of 
the Council. On the other hand, the forcible expulsion 
of the papal legates from the " Latrocinum " (Council of 
Bandits) at Ephesus was rightly considered by the Catho- 
lics as a gross violation of the liberty of a Council. The 
sentence of the majority, or even the unanimous sentence, 
if taken apart from the personal action of the Pope, is 
not purely and simply the sentence of the entire Teaching 
Body, and therefore has no claim to infallibility. Such a 
sentence would not bind the absent Bishops to assent to 
it, or the Pope to confirm it. Its only effect would be 
to entitle the Pope to say that he confirms the sentence of 
a council, or that he speaks " with the approval of the 
Sacred Council " (sacro approbante concilia}. 

TheVaticai The Vatican Council, even in the Fourth Session, may 

Council. ...... 

be cited as an instance of a Council possessing in an 
eminent degree, not only the essential elements, but also 
what we may call the perfecting elements. The number 
of Bishops present was the greatest on record, both abso- 
lutely and in proportion to the number of Bishops in the 
world ; the discussion was most free, searching, and ex- 
haustive ; universal tradition, past and present, was 
appealed to, not indeed as to the doctrine in question 
itself, but as to its fundamental principle, which is the 
duty of obedience to the Holy See and of conformity to 
her Faith ; absolute unanimity prevailed in the final 
sentence, and an overwhelming majority even in the 
preparatory judgment. 

The decrees of the General Councils may be found in 
the great collections of Labbe, Hardouin, Mansi, Catalani ; 
the more important decrees are given in Denzinger's 

PART I.] The Rule of Faitk. 101 


SECT 33. The Roman Congregations Local or Particular SBCT : 33 ' 

I. The Roman Congregations are certain standing com- Roman Con- 

30 gregations. 

mittees of Cardinals appointed by the Pope to give decisions 
on the various questions of doctrine and discipline which 
arise from time to time. The most important Congrega- 
tions are the following : 

1. The Congregation of the Council of Trent ; 

2. The Congregation of Bishops and Regulars ; 

3. The Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith 

(Propaganda) ; 

4. The Congregation of Sacred Rites ; 

5. The Congregation of the Index of Prohibited Books ; 

6. The Congregation of the Holy Office (the Inquisi- 


To these must be added the Poenitentiaria, which is a 
tribunal for granting absolutions from censures and dispen- 
sations in matters of vows and matrimonial impediments. 
It also passes judgment on moral cases submitted to its 

These Congregations have as their principal function 
the administration, or, if we may so term it, the general 
police of doctrine and discipline. It is their duty to prose- 
cute offences against Faith or Morals, to prohibit dangerous 
writings, and to attach authoritative censures to any 
opinions the profession of which is sinful. They do not 
give decisions without appeal, because finality is inseparable 
from infallibility. Although they act in the Pope's name, 
their decrees are their own and not his, even after receiving 
his acknowledgment and approbation. If, however, he 
himself gives a decision based upon the advice of a Con- 
gregation, such decision is his own and not merely the 
decision of the Congregation. What, then, is the authority 
of the Roman Congregations ? 

I. Doctrinal decrees of the Congregations, which are 
not fully and formally confirmed by the Pope, are not in- 
fallible. They have, however, such a strong presumption 
in their favour that even internal submission is due to 
them, at least for the time being. The reason of this is 

IO2 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. v. plain. The Congregations are composed of experienced 
33 ' men of all schools and tendencies ; they proceed with the 
greatest prudence and conscientiousness ; they represent 
the tradition of the Roman Church which is especially 
protected by the Holy Ghost. We may add that their 
decrees have seldom needed reform. Hence Pius IX. 
points out that learned Catholics " must submit to the 
doctrinal decisions given by the Pontifical Congregations" 
(Brief to the Archbishop of Munich, Tuas libenter, 1863). 

2. If the Pope fully and formally confirms the decrees 
they become infallible. It is not easy, however, to decide 
whether this perfect confirmation has been given. Certain 
formulas, e.g. the simple approbavit, may signify nothing 
more than an act of supervision or an act of the Pope as 
head of the Congregation, and not as Head of the Church. 

Particuiai H. Particular or Local Councils are assemblies of the 

Councils. ,,., ,. . . i. . i i * 

Bishops ot a province or a nation as distinguished irom 
assemblies of the Bishops of the world. When the council 
is composed of the Bishops of a single province, it is called 
a Provincial Council ; when the Bishops of several provinces 
are present, it is called a Plenary or National Council. 
Thus in England, where there is only one province, the 
province of Westminster, the English Councils are called 
the " Westminster Provincial Councils." In Ireland there 
are four provinces, and consequently when all the Irish 
Bishops meet in council the assembly is called the "National 
Council." The usual name given to similar assemblies in 
the United States is Plenary Council. Every Particular 
Council must be convened with the approbation of the 
Holy See. The Bishops act indeed in virtue of their 
ordinary power, and not as papal delegates ; nevertheless 
it is only fitting that they should act in union with their 
Head. Moreover, the decrees must be submitted to the 
approval of Rome. The approval granted is either Simple 
or Solemn (approbatio in forma simplici, approbatio in forma 
solemni). The Simple form, which is that usually granted, 
is a mere act of supervision, and emanates from the Con- 
gregation of the Council. The Solemn form is equivalent 
to an adoption of the decrees by the Holy See as its own, 
and is seldom granted. The Provincial Councils held 

PART I.] The Rule of Faith. 103 

against Pelagianism are well-known instances. In modern CHAP. v. 
times, Benedict XIII. granted the solemn approbation to 34 " 
the decrees of the Council of Embrun. Without this 
solemn approval the decrees of Provincial Councils are not 
infallible. The presumption of truth in their favour depends 
partly on the number and the personal ability and character 
of the Bishops present, and partly on the nature of their 
proceedings and the wording of their decrees. Peremptory 
and formal affirmation of a doctrine as Catholic, or con- 
demnation of a doctrine as erroneous, would not be tole- 
rated by the Holy See unless such affirmation or condem- 
nation was in accordance with the teaching of Rome ; and 
consequently even the simple approval of decrees of this 
kind gives a strong presumption of truth. When, how- 
ever, the decrees have not this peremptory and formal 
character, but are simply expositions of doctrine or admo- 
nitions to the Faithful, the presumption in their favour is 
not so strong. 

See Bellarmine, De Conciliis ; Benedict XIV., De 
Synodo Diocesana, 1. xiii. c. 3. The decrees of the various 
Provincial and other Particular Councils may be found in 
the great collections of Councils named above. The more 
recent decrees are given in the Collectio Lacensis (Herder, 
Freiburg). The Westminster Councils, of which four have 
been held, have been published by Burns and Gates. The 
most important National Council of Ireland is the Synod 
of Thurles held in 1851. There have been three Plenary 
Councils of Baltimore (United States), held in the years 
1852, 1866, and 1884 respectively. 

SECT. 34. Dogmatic Censures. 

I. The Vatican Council has spoken of the right ofxheri E htof 
censure belonging to the Church in the following terms : Censure * 
" Moreover, the Church having received, together with the 
apostolic office of teaching, the command to keep the 
Deposit of the Faith, hath also the right and the duty of 
proscribing knowledge falsely so-called, lest any one should 
be deceived by philosophy or vain deceit. Wherefore all 
the Faithful are forbidden, not only to defend as legitimate 
conclusions of science opinions of this kind which are 

IO4 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

CHAP. v. known to be contrary to the doctrine of the Faith, espe- 
Ec-^34- h ave been condemned by the Church, but are 

also bound to hold them rather as errors having the deceit- 
ful semblance of truth " (sess. iit., chap. 4). See also Pius 
IX.'s brief Gravissimas inter. 

The duty II. Dogmatic censures impose most strictly the duty of 

censures, unreserved assent. In matters of Faith and Morals they 
afford absolute certainty that the doctrines or propositions 
censured are to be rejected in the manner required by the 
particular censure affixed to them. Sometimes the obli- 
gation of submitting to the Church's judgment is expressly 
mentioned ; e.g. in the Bull Unigenitus : " We order all 
the Faithful not to presume to form opinions about these 
propositions or to teach or preach them, otherwise than 
is determined in this our constitution." In cases of this 
kind the infallibility of the censures is contained in the 
infallibility concerning Faith and Morals which belongs 
to the Teaching Apostolate, because submission to the 
censure is made a moral duty. No difference is here made 
between the binding power of lesser censures and that of 
the highest (heresy). Moreover, these censures bind not 
only by reason of the obedience due to the Church, but 
also on account of the certain knowledge which they give 
us of the falsity or untrustworthiness of the censured doc- 
trines. To adhere to these doctrines is a grievous sin 
because of the strictness of the ecclesiastical prohibition 
sanctioned by the heaviest penalties, and also because all 
or nearly all the censures represent the censured act as 
grievously sinful. 

The duty to reject a censured doctrine involves the 
right to assert and duty to admit the contradictory doctrine 
as sound, nay as the only sound and legitimate doctrine. 
The censures do not expressly state this right and duty, 
nevertheless the consideration of the meaning and drift 
of each particular censure clearly establishes both. In the 
case of censures which express categorically the Church's 
certain judgment, such as " Heresy," " Error," " False," 
" Blasphemous," " Impious," and also in cases where moral 
certainty is expressed, such as " Akin to Heresy," " Akin 
to Error," "Rash," there can be no question as to this. 

PART I.] Tlie Rule of Faitk. 105 

Doubt might perhaps arise whether the other censures, CHAP. v. 
such as " Wicked," " Unsound," " Unsafe," and mere con- E fli 35 ' 
demnations without any particular qualification, impose the 
duty of admitting the falsity of the condemned doctrines 
as at least morally certain, or whether it is enough to 
abstain from maintaining them. As a rule, however, we 
must not be content with the latter. 

III. The Church's judgment is also infallible when con- Censures 

.... , ma v apply 

demning doctrines and propositions in the sense meant by to an 

some determinate author. This infallibility is already meaning 
contained in the infallibility of the censure itself when 
no distinction can be drawn between the meaning of 
the words and the meaning intended by the author. But, 
where this distinction can be drawn, the infallibility of the 
judgment concerning the author's meaning is at least 
virtually contained in the infallibility of the censure itself. 
The Church sometimes condemns an author's propo- 
sitions in the sense conveyed by their context, and 
sometimes formulates propositions conveying the author's 
meaning. In the former case the censure applies to the 
context as well as to the proposition ; in the latter case 
there is a twofold censure, one on the propositions as 
formulated by the judge, and another on the text as 
containing the sense of the propositions. In neither of 
these cases would the censure be infallible, if it were not 
infallible in determining the sense of the author. For this 
reason the Church does not give a separate judgment to 
establish that a particular text conveys a particular mean- 
ing ; she simply attaches the censure to the text as it stands. 
These various distinctions were of great importance in 
the Jansenistic controversy. The Jansenists admitted that 
the five propositions censured by Innocent X. were worthy 
of condemnation, but denied that they were to be found in 
their master's works. 

SECT. 35. Development of Dogma. 

I. The truths which God has been pleased to reveal to NO new 
mankind were not all communicated in the beginning, bufo'e- 5 ' 
As time went on, the later Patriarchs had a larger stock of d&Trine 
of revealed truth than those who preceded them ; the 

io6 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. v. Prophets had a still larger share than the Patriarchs. 

SECT 35 

But when the Church was founded, the stock of Revelation 
was completed, and no further truths were to be revealed 
( 6). The infallibility of the Church manifestly precludes 
any change in dogmas previously defined. Nevertheless, 
it is clear that the Church has not always possessed the 
same explicit knowledge of all points of doctrine and 
enforced them just in the same way as in the time of the 
Apostles. In what terms should this difference be stated ? 
Kinds of II. I. It is not enough to say that the difference 

n^ntT between the earlier and the later documents is merely 
nominal ; viz. that the terminology of the earlier Creeds 
is obscure and vague, while in the later ones it becomes 
clear and precise. 

2. Nor, again, will it do to make use of the comparison 
of a scroll gradually unrolled or of a casket whose contents 
become gradually known. There is, indeed, some truth in 
these comparisons, but they cannot account for all the facts. 
Logical 3. A better comparison is that the later defined 

mem. 1 . 01 " doctrines are contained in the earlier ones as the con- 
clusion of a syllogism Is contained in the premisses. This 
is to admit that there has been a real, though only 
logical, development in the Church's doctrine. Such is 
the argument of St. Augustine in the dispute concerning 
the re-baptism of heretics. According to him, a dogma 
may pass through three stages: (i) implicit belief; (2) 
controversy ; (3) explicit definition. Thus in the early 
ages the validity of heretical Baptism was admitted in 
practice by the fact of not repeating the Sacrament. But 
when the question was formally proposed, there seemed to 
be strong arguments both for and against the validity. At 
this stage the most orthodox teachers might, and indeed 
did, disagree. Finally, the matter was decided, and thence- 
forth no further discussion was lawful within the Church. 
(De Bapt, II. 12-14; Migne, ix. 133. See also Franzelin, 
De Trad., thes. xxiii.) 

Organic 4. But can we not go further and admit an organic 

nfe V nt. op " development? In the case of logical development all the 

conclusions are already contained in the premisses, and are 

merely drawn out of them, whereas in organic development 

PAST ].] The Rule of Faith. 107 

the results are only potentially in the germs from which CHAP, v 
they spring (Mark v. 28-32). In organic development E fl_ 35- 
there is no alteration or corruption, no mere addition or 
accretion ; there is vitality, absorption, assimilation, growth, 
identity. Take, for example, the doctrines mentioned above. 
Scripture teaches plainly that there is only one God ; yet 
it speaks of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and it speaks of 
Jesus Christ in such terms that He must be both God and 
Man. It was not until after some centuries that these truths 
were elaborated into the definitions which we are bound 
to believe. Who can doubt that during these centuries 
the primitive teaching absorbed into itself the appropriate 
Greek elements, and that the process was analogous to the 
growth of an organism ? (Supra, p. xx.) This view of the 
organic development of the Church's teaching is a con- 
clusive answer to those who ask us to produce from ancient 
authorities the exact counterpart of what we now believe 
and practise. They might just as well look for the branches 
and leaves of an oak in the acorn from which it sprang. 

" Shall we then have no advancement of religion in Vincent 
the Church of Christ ? Let us have it indeed, and the 
greatest. . . . But yet in such sort that it be truly an 
advancement of faith, not a change (sed ita tamen lit 
vere profectus sit ille fidei, non permutatio), seeing that it is 
the nature of an advancement, that in itself each thing 
(severally) grow greater, but of a change that something 
be turned from one thing into another. . . . Let the soul's 
religion imitate the law of the body, which, as years go on, 
develops indeed and opens out its due proportions, and 
yet remains identically what it was. . . . Small are a 
baby's limbs, a youth's are larger, yet they are the 
same. ... So also the doctrine of the Christian religion 
must follow those laws of advancement ; namely, that with 
years it be consolidated, with time it be expanded, with 
age it be exalted, yet remain uncorrupt and untouched, 
and be full and perfect in all the proportions of each of its 
parts, and with all its members, as it were, and proper 
senses ; that it admit no change besides, sustain no loss 
of its propriety, no variety of its definition. Wherefore, Modes oi 
whatsoever in this Church, God's husbandry, has by the ^nt, 01 * 

io8 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. v. faith of our fathers been sown, that same must be cultivated 
sh.cri.36. by the industry of their children, that same flourish and 
ripen, that same advance and be perfected " (Commoni- 
torium, nn. 28, 29). 

Erroneous III. Revelation does not follow the merely natural laws 

of development like any other body of thought. While it is 
indeed necessarily influenced by the natural environment 
in which it exists, this influence works under Divine Pro- 
vidence and the infallible guidance of the Church. More- 
over, it can never come to pass that an early dogmatic 
definition should afterwards be revoked, or be understood 
in a sense at variance with the meaning originally attached 
to it by the Church. "The doctrine which God has 
revealed has not been proposed as some philosophical 
discovery to be perfected by the wit of man, but has 
been entrusted to Christ's Spouse as a Divine deposit to 
be faithfully guarded and infallibly declared. Hence 
sacred dogmas must ever be understood in the sense once 
for all (seme/) declared by Holy Mother Church ; and 
never must that sense be abandoned under pretext of pro- 
founder knowledge (altioris intelligenti<z)? (Vat. Council, 
Sess. iii. chap. 4.) On the whole subject, see Newman's 
great work, Development of Christian Doctrine. 

SECT. 36. The chief Dogmatic Documents Creeds and 


The most important dogmatic documents are the 
Creeds, or Symbols of Faith, and the decrees of the Popes 
and of General and Particular Councils. 

I. Creeds. 

The i. The simplest and oldest Creed, which is the founda- 

Cr p e ed! es ' tion of al * the others, is the Apostles' Creed. There are, 
however, twelve different forms of it, which are given in 
Denzinger's Enchiridion. See Dublin Review, Oct., 1888, 
July, 1889; and Le Symbole des Apdtres, by Batiffol and 
Vacant, in the Diet, de Thtol. Catholique. 

Nicene 2 - The Nicene Creed, published by the Council of Nicaea 

Creed. ( A D 325), defines the Divinity of Christ. It originally ended 

with the words, " and in the Holy Ghost." The subsequent 

clauses concerning the Divinity of the Holy Ghost were 

PART I.] The Rule of Faith. 109 

added before the First Council of Constantinople. In its -HAP. v 

SECT. 36. 

complete form it is now used in the Mass. 

3. The Athanasian Creed was probably not composed Athanasian 
by St. Athanasius, but is called by his name because it 
contains the doctrines so ably expounded and strenuously 
defended by him. It is aimed at the heresies of the fourth 

and fifth centuries, and dates back at least to the sixth or 
seventh century. 

4. The Creed of Toledo, published by the sixth council Creed of 
of Toledo (A.D. 675), further develops the Athanasian Creed, 

and is the most complete of the authentic expositions of 
the dogmas of the Blessed Trinity and Incarnation. As 
it closely follows St. Augustine's teaching, it might almost 
be called " St. Augustine's Creed " with even more reason 
than the preceding creed is called the creed of St. Athana- 
sius. See Denzinger, n. xxvi. 

5. The Creed of Leo IX. is a free elaboration of the Creed of 
Nicene Creed, with some additions against Manichaeans 

and Pelagians. See Denzinger, n. xxxix. It is still used 
at the consecration of Bishops. 

6. The Creed of the Fourth Lateran Council, the famous Creed of 
caput Fir miter ere dimus, under Innocent III. (1215), which Lateran 
is the first Decretal in the Corpus Juris Canonici, is in 
substance similar to the foregoing, but further develops 

the doctrine concerning Sacrifice, Baptism, and particularly 
Transubstantiation. The subjoined condemnation of Abbot 
Joachim completes the dogmatic definition of the Holy 
Trinity. See Denzinger, n. lii. ; also St. Thomas, Expositio 
Priince et Secundce Decretalis, Opuscc. xxiii. and xxiv. 

7. The formula prescribed by the same Pope Innocent 
III. (1210) to the converts among the Waldenses, states 
more or less extensively the doctrine concerning the Sacra- 
ments, and also various matters of morals and discipline. 
Denzinger, n. liii. 

8. The Confession of Faith made by Michael Palaeo- 
logus in the Second Council of Lyons, 1274, accepted by 
Pope Gregory X., is based upon the Creed of Leo IX., but 
adds clauses containing the doctrine concerning the Four 
Last Things (Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven), the Sacra- 
ments, and the Primacy of the Roman Church. 

no A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. v. After the Council of Trent thiee more professions of 

- 3 ' Faith for the use of converts were issued by the Popes, all 

of which begin with the Nicene Creed, and contain in 

addition appropriate extracts from the decrees of several 


Creed of o. The so-called Tridentine Profession of Faith, drawn 

I'lUb IV* 

up in 1564 by Pius IV. for converts from Protestantism, 

recapitulates the most important decrees of the Council of 

Trent. Denzinger, n. Ixxxii. 

Creed of io. The Profession of Faith prescribed by Gregory XIII. 

xiiL >ry to the Greeks contains the principal decrees of the Council 

of Florence concerning the Trinity, the Four Last Things, 

and the Primacy. Denzinger, n. Ixxxiii. 
Creed of 1 1. Lastly, the Profession of Faith for the Easterns. 

Urban VIII. * ITTTT . .,/ 

prescribed by Urban VI II., is copied from the Decre- 
tum pro Jacobitis, published by the Council of Florence. 
It is a summary of the teaching of the first eight ecu- 
menical councils, and contains the same extracts from the 
Council of Florence as the foregoing Profession. It also 
includes many definitions of the Council of Trent. It is 
composed on historical lines, and is the most complete of 
all the Creeds. Denzinger, n. Ixxxiv. 

Decree*. II. The decrees of the Popes and the councils are 

sometimes negative and aphoristic, and sometimes positive 
and developed formulas. The drawing up of these 
formulas was, as a rule, the work of doctors or of particular 
Churches or of the Holy See ; in a few cases these were 
the results of the combined labours of the bishops 
assembled in councils. In this respect the Council of 
Trent excelled all others. The various decrees are given 
in Denzinger's Enchiridion. 



THEOLOGICAL knowledge should be considered under a Faith and 
twofold aspect : (i) as act of Faith ; and (2) as theological scUm*. 
science. Faith assents to revealed truths on the authority 
of God Who reveals them, whereas theological science, 
under the guidance of Faith, submits them to examination 
and discussion in order to gain a clearer and deeper 
insight into them. This distinction has been disregarded 
in modern times even more than the various distinctions 
in the objective principles of theological knowledge. 
Hence the Vatican Council has dealt with it in detail, 
especially in the third and fourth chapters of the Con- 
stitution concerning Catholic Faith. 

See Denzinger, Religious Kno^vledge, books iii. and iv. Authority, 
(in German) ; Kleutgen, Theology of the Olden Time, vol. iii. 
(in German) ; Schrader, De Fide, utrum ea imperari possit ? 
These three authors have made the best use of the 
materials contained in the older theological works. See 
also Alexander of Hales, Summa, p. iii., q. 68, 69 ; St. 
Thomas, 2 a 2 X , q. I sqq. ; Quasi. Dispp. De Veritate, q. 14, 
and various portions of the opusculum, Super Boetium De 
Trinitate. The question of Faith was exhaustively treated 
in the century following the Council of Trent. See among 
the commentators on the Secunda Secundae, Bannez, 
Salmanticenses, Reding, Valentia, Tanner, Ysambert ; 
Suarez, De Virtut. Theol. ; Lugo, De Fide. In English, 
we have Card. Newman's Grammar of Assent, and Mr. 
Wilfrid Ward's brilliant little work, TJie Wish to Believe. 

A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 


SECT. 37. Etymology of the various words used for 
Faith The true Notion of Faith. 

I. The English word Faith is derived from the Latin 
Fides, and is akin to the Greek Tn'orte ; Belief is akin to 
the German Glauben ; Creed, Credibility are derived from 
the Latin Credere. We have, therefore, to examine the 
four words, fides, credere, TT'HJTIQ, and glauben. Both fides 
and credere convey the fundamental meaning of trowing, 
trusting (Germ, trarten}. Credere is akin to KparHv, to 
grasp firmly and to hold ; Sanscr. Krat-dha, to give trust, 
to confide. The noun Fides conveys also the meaning of 
trust, confidence, and fidelity. The notion of confidence or 
trust appears in the derived forms, fido, fidentia, fiducia ; 
the notion of fidelity, i.e. firm adherence, in fidelis,fidelitas, 
and fidns. 

so often used in Holy Scripture, comes from 
, which, according to its root bliidh, bhadh, originally 
meant to bind, fasten, hold fast. It afterwards became 
specialized in the sense of binding by means of speech 
that is, to convince, to persuade. We can thus understand 
how 7n'mc has all the significations of fides. It must, how- 
ever, be remarked that when used to express some relation 
between God and man, iriariQ is used in a passive or 
middle sense, (irtiQiaQaL = to be bound, convinced, or per- 
suaded, and to allow one's-self to be bound, convinced, or 
persuaded), and that this use is noticeable everywhere in 
the Sacred Writings. Hence Tramp involves, first, on the 
part of the irsiOofj^vof, the believer, a willing listening and 

PART II] Faith. 113 

submission (VTTCIKOVEIV, obandire. obedire) to the command- CHAP, i 

SECT* 37 

ing call of God, by Whom the hearer allows himself to be 
bound ; secondly, a cleaving to God, to Whom the hearer 
allows himself to be bound by accepting His good gift, and 
by entering into a pact,y^//j, with Him. 

In these are included fidelity and confidence, in a form 
peculiar to religious 7r?<me, namely, as a docile and con- 
fident submission to the Divine guidance. The two 
elements of -jricmq, obedience and fidelity appear mani- 
festly in the two expressions used to designate the contrary 
notions, cnrtiOtia, inobedientia, disobedience, and airiaria, 
perfidia, faithlessness, and diffidentia y distrust. 

The German word Glauben has the same root as 
lieben, loben, geloben, to love, to praise, to promise ; viz. 
" lubh," in lubet, libet to wish to find good, to approve. 
Hence it has the radical meaning of accepting willingly 
and holding fast, approving. 

It is plain that these various words, according to their 
etymology and theological use, do not exclusively refer to 
acts or habits of the intellect. They often express the 
affections and dispositions of the will, especially obedience 
and hope, as based on or aiming at some act of knowledge. 
As a rule, however, they express acts of the intellect only, 
in so far as these are dependent on or connected with acts 
of the will. In Holy Scripture irian^ and iriaTivtiv, when 
used with reference to God, mean, purely and simply, to 
cling and hold fast to God, and consequently all the acts 
involved in clinging to God, or any one of them, according 
to the context. When applied to acts of knowledge, these 
expressions designate only those which have some analogy 
with acts of the will, such as to admit, hold, cling to, 
approve, consent, amplecti, adharere, crvyKaTaTiOeaOai. The 
sense in which the "holding something for true" is called 
fides, TriffTig, is manifold. Thus fides and TTIOTIQ are often 
used generically to designate every " holding for true," 
every conviction ; nay, they are sometimes used as the 
technical terms for conviction, like the German Ueber- 
zeugung. On the other hand, " to believe " is often used 
as equivalent to mean, think, opine, as expressing a more 
or less arbitrary assent founded on imperfect evidence. 


114 A Manual of Catholic Theology. (BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. II. The special signification of the terms Faith, Fides, 
E fll_ 37 ' rh'arte, with which we are now concerned, is " assent on 

"Assent on ,, .. ,, .. . ,, r ... 

authority." authority ; that is to say, the acceptance of a proposition, 
not because we ourselves perceive its truth, but because 
another person tells us that it is true. The notion of Faith 
implies that the assent is considered as something good 
and desirable. " Assent on authority " results from our 
esteem for the mental and moral qualifications of the 
witness, and is, therefore, accompanied by a willing acknow- 
ledgment of a sort of perfection in him, and also by a re- 
spectful and confiding submission to the authority which 
that perfection confers Hence Faith is not simply an 
act of the intellect, but an act commanded and brought 
about by the will acting on the intellect : the assent of 
the intellect to what is true is determined by the consent 
of the will to what is good. This consent implies an appro- 
bation given to the assent of the intellect, and a willing 
acknowledgment of the authority of the speaker. 
The part HI. The part played by the will in this sort of Faith re- 

UMwiiL sembles any other sort of deference to authority. It con- 
sists in submitting to a legitimate order or call to perform 
some action. The person who gives the order is the author 
of the action rather than he who actually performs it, whence 
comes the term Authority. In ordinary cases we are invited 
rather than commanded to assent on the authority of 
another. We may have some doubt, as to his knowledge 
or veracity, and even if we have no such doubt, he has no 
power or right over us. But when the author or speaker is 
the Supreme Lord, Infinite Wisdom, and Infinite Truth, He 
is entitled to exact complete consent of our will, and to 
set before us His knowledge, not merely as a basis, but 
even as a rule, of conviction. The act of Faith is, however, 
distinguishable from most other acts of submission to 
authority by the peculiarity that the authority which exacts 
it must also make it possible, and must co-operate in its 
production. This is brought about by the Divine Author 
constituting Himself the guarantee of the truth of what He 
communicates. The speaker, in virtue of the moral per- 
fection of His will, guarantees that He communicates only 
what He knows to be true ; and that, moreover, by virtue 

PABT II.] Faith. 115 

of the perfection of His intellect all danger of error is ex- CHAP. T. 
eluded, thus offering to the mind of the hearer a founda- E 3 ' 
tion for certitude, surer than the latter's own personal 

IV. The manner in which authority asserts itself to and Reverence 
is received by a believer varies according to the nature of Father. 
the authority and of the communication made. The nearest 
approach to Divine authority and Divine Faith is found 
in the relations between parents and their offspring. Parents 
have a natural superiority and dominion over their children, 
as being the authors of their existence ; hence their autho- 
rity, unlike that of any other person, is in itself, apart from 
any external legitimation, sufficient to command the assent 
of their children. And in like manner, the respect and 
reverence due to parents cause the child to take for granted 
their knowledge and veracity. The relation between God 
and man is a sort of spiritual paternity (cf. Heb. xii. 9) 
whereby we are entitled to address Him as " Our Father." 
Human parents, although their children reasonably assume 
their knowledge and veracity, may, however, deceive or be 
deceived. But our Heavenly Father is Infinite Wisdom 
and Truth itself. 

SECT. 38. Nature of Theological Faith. 

I. Theological Faith is assent given to the Word of Termi- 


God in a manner befitting its excellence and power. It 
is also termed Divine Faith, in opposition to human 
faith that is, faith founded on the authority of man ; 
Supernatural Faith, because it leads to supernatural 
salvation and has God for its Author and Generator; 
Christian Faith, because its subject-matter is the Revela- 
tion made by Christ, and because it is interwoven with the 
Christian economy of salvation ; Catholic Faith, because it 
is assent to the doctrines proposed by the Catholic Church. 
These four appellations are not exactly synonymous, but 
they all designate the same act, though under different 

II. The nature of Theological Faith has been clearly The Vatican 
defined by the Vatican Council, sess. iii., chap. 3 : " Seeing Faith. 
that man wholly dependeth upon God as his Creator and 

n6 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. Lord, and seeing that created reason is entirely subject 

SliCT. ?8. 

- to Uncreated Truth, we are bound to submit by Faith our 
intellect and will to God the Revealer. But this Faith, 
which is the beginning of man's salvation, the Church con- 
fesseth to be a supernatural virtue, whereby, with the help 
of God's grace, we believe what He revealeth, not because 
we perceive its intrinsic truth by the natural light of oui 
reason, but on account of the authority of God the Re- 
vealer, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. For 
Faith, according to the Apostle, is ' the substance of things 
to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not' 
(Heb. xi. i)." 

This definition means (i) that Theological Faith is 
faith in the strictest sense of the word that is to say, 
assent on authority, implying an act of the intellect as well 
as an act of the will ; (2) that it is faith in an eminent 
degree, because it implies unlimited submission to God's 
sovereign authority and an absolute confidence in His 
veracity, and is therefore an act of religious worship and 
a theological virtue ; and (3) that it is influenced, not only 
externally by Divine authority, but also internally by 
Divine Grace, and consequently is supernatural. These 
three characteristics of Theological Faith distinguish it 
from all natural knowledge with which the Rationalists 
confound it, and also from all forms of rational or irra- 
tional, instinctive emotional Faith. 

St. Paul's The classical text Heb. xi. I, is quoted by the council 

With.' ' in confirmation of its teaching. It describes Faith as the 
act of spiritually seizing and holding fast things that are 
beyond the sphere of our intellect things the vision of 
which is the object of our hope and the essence of our 
future happiness. It tells us that Faith is a conviction 
pointing and leading to the future vision, and even antici- 
pating the fruition of it. Hence it implies that Faith, like 
the future vision itself, is a supernatural participation in 
the knowledge of God and a likening of our knowledge to 
His, inasmuch as our Faith has the same subject-matter as 
the Divine knowledge, and resembles it in its inner per- 
fection. The literal meaning of the text is as follows : 
"The substance, viroaraffig, of things to be hoped for" is a 

PART IT.] Faith. 1 1 ^ 

giving in hand, as it were, a pledge and security for the CHAP. I. 
future good gifts, and so a sort of anticipation of their '- 
possession ; " the evidence tXsyx ^ f things that appear 
not, /uLij fiXfiro/utvwv," is an evident demonstration, a clear 
showing, hence a perfect certitude and conviction, con- 
cerning things invisible. These expressions are applicable 
to the habit of Faith without any figure of speech ; to 
the act of Faith they apply only figuratively as being the 
result of the giving in hand and the clear manifestation. 
Moreover, these relations of our Faith to the Beatific Vision 
bring out, as clearly as the definition of the council, the 
difference between Theological Faith and every other sort 
of faith or knowledge. 

III. We are now in a position to trace the genesis of Thegenesi 
Theological Faith. The believer, moved by grace, submits 

to the authority of God and trusts in God's veracity, and 
strives to conform his mental judgment to that of God 
and to connect his convictions in the closest manner with 
God's infallible knowledge. Grace makes this connection 
so perfect that a most intimate union and relationship are 
established between the believer's knowledge and the 
Divine knowledge ; the excellence and virtue of the latter 
are thus communicated to the former, and mould it into 
an introduction to and participation of eternal life. 

IV. We subjoin some remarks on the use of the term Various uses 
Faith in theological literature. Fides is used to signify Faith. er 
either the act (credere, fides qud creditur) ; or the principle 

of the act (gratia fidei, lumen seu virtus fidei) ; or its sub- 
ject-matter (fides qua creditur], especially the collection of 
creeds, definitions, and the like. A distinction is sometimes 
drawn between Explicit and Implicit Faith, founded upon 
the degree of distinctness with which the act of Faith 
apprehends its subject-matter ; also between Formal Faith, 
which supposes an explicit knowledge of the motive and 
an express act of the will, and Virtual Faith, which is a 
habit infused or resulting from repeated acts of Formal 
Faith, and produces acts of Faith as it were instinctively 
without distinct consciousness of Formal Faith. The ex- 
pression Credere Deum signifies belief in God as the subject- 
matter of the act "I believe that God exists;" Credere 

1 1 8 A Mamtal of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP, i Deo means belief on the authority of God "I believe 
- what God says ; " Credere in Deum implies both of the 
former meanings " I believe in God on God's authority." 

SECT. 39. TV*.? Formal Object or Motive of Faith. 

Themotire I. To the question, "Why do we believe?" or "What 
is the motive of our Faith ? " many answers may be given. 
Some motives of Faith are similar to those which induce 
us to elicit other free acts of the will. They may be grouped 
under the head of what is fitting and useful (decens et 
utile, orjustum et commoduni), and are the following : Faith 
contributes to our moral perfection, and leads to our eternal 
salvation ; it ennobles the soul and satisfies the moral 
necessity of submission to and union with God ; it enriches 
and elevates our mental knowledge by increasing its store 
and by strengthening its certitude. As a rule, however, 
when we speak of the motive of Faith we understand 
that by means of which the act of Faith is produced. In 
the case of Theological Faith this is the Word of God, 
whence the name " theological," that is, relating immedi- 
ately to God, is applied to this sort of Faith. We believe 
a truth proposed to us because it is the Word of God 
a word founded upon Divine Authority, and therefore 
entitled to the homage of our intellect and will. 
HOW Divine II. Divine Authority influences Faith in a twofold 
fnfluencw manner : it is a call to Faith and it is a testimony to the 
Faith. truth O f Faith. As a call to Faith, Divine Authority is 
the expression of the Divine will and power to which 
man is bound to submit. As a testimony to the truth 
of Faith, Divine authority acts as the Supreme Truth, 
guaranteeing the truth of the Faith and supplying a 
perfect foundation for certitude. In both respects the 
Divine authority is based upon God's Essence, in virtue 
of which He is the Highest Being, the Uncreated Prin- 
ciple of all things, the Possessor of all truth, the Source 
of all goodness. Hence the classical form " God is the 
motive of Faith inasmuch as He is the First Truth." 
Now God is the First Truth in a threefold sense : in 
being (in essendo), because of the infinite perfection of His 
Being; in knowledge (in cognoscendo), because He possesses 

PAET II.] Faith. 119 

infinite knowledge ; in speech (in dicendo), because, being CITAP. i. 
infinitely holy, He cannot deceive. Divine authority, as 
the motive of Faith, acts on the will. The will, moved by 
respect and confidence, reacts upon the intellect, urging it 
to elicit an act of Faith in what is proposed by the Infallible 
Truth. As in every act of faith, of whatever kind, the 
believer bases his assent on the knowledge and veracity 
of the witness, so in the case of Divine Faith, the will 
urges the intellect to base its assent upon the infallible 
knowledge and veracity of the great First Truth. The 
motive of Faith is impressed by the will upon the intellect 
as a light which enlightens and manifests the truth of the 
Word proposed, which thus in its turn acts on the intel- 
lect directly and not merely by means of the will. Again : 
the motive of Faith that is, God as the First Being and 
First Truth is at the same time, conjointly with the 
contents of Revelation, the end and object towards the 
apprehension of which the will moves the intellect. 

SECT. 40. The Subject- Matter of Faith. 

I. A proposition or fact becomes the subject-matter 
of Faith when God reveals it and commands us to believe 
it on His authority. When these two conditions are ful- 
filled, Faith finds in God both its " substance " and its 
"evidence" (Heb. xi. i). All such truths must be believed 
with Divine Faith properly so-called. In the following 
cases it is doubtful whether, or at least how far, a truth 
can be believed with Divine Faith. 

i. Truths which are revealed only mediately and virtu- Mediately 
ally that is, evidently inferred from truths directly and trutte? d 
immediately revealed are the subject-matter of Theological 
Knowledge rather than of Divine Faith. If, however, God 
intended to reveal them, and if they were known to the 
first promulgators of Revelation, some theologians (e.g. 
Reding) think that they may be believed with Divine Faith. 
But most theologians (e.g. Suarez, Lugo, Kleutgen) are of 
opinion that Divine Faith is possible in the case of these 
truths only when they are authoritatively proposed by the 
Church. The reason is that the proposal of them by the 
Church takes the place of the immediate proposal by God 

1 20 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK j. 

CHAP. i. Himself, and assumes the form of an extensive interpreta- 

SBCT. 40. . _ , ->... 

tion of the Divine Word. 

Truths in- 2. Truths which only indirectly belong to the domain 

concerted of Revelation (supra, 5, II.) are primarily the subject- 
Revelation, matter of human knowledge ; they become the subject- 
matter of Faith when the Church has authoritatively 
proposed them for belief. In such cases God Himself gives 
testimony by means of the Church, which acts as His 
plenipotentiary and ambassador. The assent given re- 
sembles Theological Faith in this, that it springs from 
respect for the knowledge, veracity, and authority of God, 
and is infallible. Nevertheless, as this assent is not 
directly founded upon God's knowledge but rather upon 
the knowledge possessed by the Church, there is an essen- 
tial difference between Theological Faith and the assent 
given to truths indirectly connected with Revelation. 
The latter, which is called Ecclesiastical Faith, is less 
perfect than the former, but still, by reason of its re- 
ligious and infallible character, is far above any purely 
human faith. Many theologians, notably Muzzarelli, 
declare that these truths are the subject-matter of Divine 
Faith on account of the Divinely promised infallibility of 
the Church. They claim Divine Faith especially for 
matters connected with morals and for the canonization of 
Saints, because an error in either would tell against the 
divinely revealed sanctity of the Church, while the latter is 
moreover based upon the miracles wrought by God in proof 
of the holiness of His Saints. We may observe, in reply, 
that the relation of moral matters with the sanctity of the 
Church only indirectly bases Faith in them on God's know- 
ledge. Again, the miracles wrought through the interces- 
sion of holy persons are not direct revelations, but are only 
indications of the Divine Will which the Church interprets, 
and consequently Faith founded upon them is only 
Ecclesiastical Faith. 

The subject II. Foremost among the attributes cf the subject- 
Faith is matter of Faith is its truth. Whatever is proposed for 
our belief must be true in itself. Still, Faith does not sup- 
pose in the believer a direct knowledge of the truths which 
he believes, nor an illumination of his mind similar to that 

.] Faith. 121 

of the Beatific Vision. On the contrary, Faith being " the CHAP. i. 

J & SECT. 40. 

evidence of things that appear not," implies that its subject- 
matter is inaccessible to the natural eye of the mind, even 
when revealed ; it is the peculiar excellence of Faith that 
it makes the unseen as certain to our minds as the seen 
(Heb. xi. 27). Trusting in God's knowledge and veracity, 
Faith glories in truths above reason, and delights in mystery ; 
it transcends all human faith and science, inasmuch 
as it embraces objects far beyond the sphere of the human 
mind. But although " the things that appear not " are the 
proper subject-matter of Faith, it must not be supposed 
that absolute invisibility is required. The relatively in- 
visible can also be made its subject-matter (cf. St. Thorn. 
2*. 2*. q. i, a. 3 : " Utrum objectum fidei possit esse aliquid 
visum," and a. 4 : " Utrum possit esse scitum "). 

III. In accordance with its being "the substance off.^^J^ 
things to be hoped for," and in accordance with the inten- 
tions of its Author, Faith aims at giving us the know- 
ledge of the things concerning our future supernatural 
happiness. Hence, God Himself, in His invisible Essence, 

as He is and as He will reveal Himself to the blessed 
in the Beatific Vision, and God's Nature as the principle 
which causes our supernatural perfection and beatitude 
by communicating Itself to us, are the chief subjects of 
Faith. Hence we see again how much the subject-matter 
of Faith transcends all human knowledge, for no natural 
faculties can reach the heights or fathom the depths of 
the Divine Essence and its relations with the soul of man 
(cf. i Cor. ii.). Indeed, the whole supernatural economy of 
salvation is subordinate to the belief in God as the final 
object of our eternal beatitude. 

IV. Faith is founded on God's knowledge and vera- itstrans- 

. . cendcntal 

city ; it has God and His Divine Nature for its subject- ci-aracter. 
matter ; and it tends to the Beatific Union with Him. 
Seeing to a certain extent, as it were, all things in God 
and through God, it not only reduces all its own tenets 
to a certain unity in God, but also apprehends in God and 
through God all created truth, and judges of all created 
things with reference to God, Who is their ultimate End 
and immutable Ruler. Faith is therefore, in a certain 

122 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. sense, what modern philosophers call a " transcendental 
E ^Il 41 ' knowledge." Adhering to God in all humility, it effects 
what philosophers have vainly attempted by their exag- 
geration of the natural powers of the human mind 
(Matt. xi. 25), 

SECT. 41. The Motives of Credibility. 

Motives of I- To enable us to elicit an act of Divine Faith in a 
wha d t! blhty revealed truth, the fact of its being revealed must also be 
perfectly certain to us. Without this perfect certitude 
we could not reasonably assent to it on the authority of 
God. Hence Innocent XI. condemned the proposition ; 
" The supernatural assent of Faith necessary for salvation 
is compatible with merely probable knowledge of Revela- 
tion, nay even with doubt whether God has spoken" 
(prop. xxi.). No certitude is perfect unless based upon 
reasonable motives. We cannot, therefore, accept with 
certitude any proposition as being the word of God without 
Motives of Credibility that is, marks and criteria clearly 
showing the proposition to be really the Word of God. 

The Motives of Credibility are not the same thing 
as the Motives of Faith. The former refer to the fact 
that a particular doctrine was originally revealed by God , 
the latter refer to the necessity of believing generally what- 
ever God has revealed. Both are the foundation of the 
reasonableness of our Faith. This will be clear if we bear 
in mind that the assent given in an act of Faith is in- 
fermtial : " Whatever God reveals is true ; God has re- 
vealed, e.g., the mystery of the Blessed Trinity ; therefore 
the mystery is true." The Motives of Faith are the reasons 
for assenting to the major premise ; the Motives of Credi- 
bility are the reasons for assenting to the minor. The 
Motives of Faith that is to say, God's knowledge and 
veracity are, however, so evident that no one can call 
them in question ; whereas the Motives of Credibility that 
is, the proofs that a given doctrine is of Divine origin are 
by no means self-evident, but are the object of the fiercest 
attacks of unbelievers. It is on this account that, in deal- 
ing with the reasonableness of Faith, stress is laid prin- 
cipally upon the Motives of Credibility. 

PART II.] Faith. 123 

II. The chief errors concerning the Motives of Credi- CHAP. i. 

SECT* <ii* 

bility are : (i) Rationalism, which denies the possibility of 

' * Erroneous 

any reasonable certainty in matters said to be revealed, opinions and 

, / _ ' f ... Catholic 

(2) Protestantism, at least in some of its forms, which substi- doctrine, 
tutes for external criteria inward feelings and consolations. 

(3) Some Catholic Theologians have also erred by assign- 
ing too prominent a place to these inward feelings. Against 
these errors the Vatican Council has defined the Catholic 
doctrine on the nature of the certitude concerning the fact 
of Revelation, and has especially declared how the pro- 
position by the Church of doctrines as revealed, is a legiti- 
mate promulgation of the Divine word : " In order that 
the submission of our Faith might be in accordance with 
reason, God hath willed to give us, together with the 
internal assistance of the Holy Ghost, external proofs of 
His Revelation, namely, Divine facts and, above all, mira- 
cles and prophecies, which, while they clearly manifest 
God's almighty power and infinite knowledge, are most 
certain Divine signs of Revelation adapted to the under- 
standing of all men. Wherefore Moses, and the Prophets, 
and especially Christ our Lord Himself, wrought and 
uttered many and most manifest miracles and prophecies; 
and touching the Apostles we read, 'They going forth 
preached the word everywhere, the Lord working withal, 
and confirming the word with the signs that followed ' 
(Mark xvi. 20). And again, it is written, ' We have the 
more firm prophetical word, whereunto you do well to 
attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place ' (2 Pet. 
i. 19). But in order that we may fulfil the duty of embracing 
the true Faith, and of persevering therein constantly, God, 
by means of His Only Begotten Son, hath instituted the 
Church, and hath endowed her with plain marks whereby 
she may be recognized by all men as the guardian and 
mistress of the revealed word. For to the Catholic Church 
alone belong all the wonders which have been divinely 
arranged for the evident credibility of the Christian Faith. 
Moreover, the Church herself, by her wonderful propaga- 
tion, exalted sanctity, and unbounded fertility in all that is 
good, by her Catholic unity and invincible stability, is both 
an enduring motive of credibility and an unimpeachable 

124 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. testimony of her Divine mission. Whence it is that like a 

SECT. 41. 

standard set up unto the nations (Isai. xi. 12) she calleth 
to her them that have not yet believed, and maketh her 
children certain that the Faith which they profess resteth 
on the surest foundation " (sess. iii., chap. 3). 

The Catholic Church therefore teaches: (i) that we 
must have a rational certitude of the fact of Revelation in 
order that our Faith may be itself rational ; (2) that this 
certitude is not founded exclusively on internal experience, 
but also, and indeed chiefly, on external and manifest 
facts ; (3) that these external and manifest facts which 
accompany the proposition of Revelation can produce a 
perfect certitude of the fact of Revelation in the minds of 
all ; and (4) that these facts not only accompany the 
original proposition of Revelation, and thus come down to 
us as facts of past history, but that by means of the unity 
and stability of the Church they are perpetuated in the 
same way as the promulgation of the Divine Word, and 
are at all times manifest to all who inquire. 
Explanation III. The following paragraphs will serve to explain and 

and proof of 

the catholic prove the doctrine just stated. 

Faith must i. First of all it is evident that our Faith cannot be a 
Me." eas '" "reasonable worship" unless sound reasons, distinct from 
Revelation and the result of our own inquiries, persuade 
us of the fact that the doctrines proposed for our belief 
are really the Word of God. If we believe without any 
reason, our Faith is manifestly irrational. On the other 
hand, if we believe for revealed reasons exclusively, our 
Faith is also irrational, because we thereby fall into a 
vicious circle. We do not, however, maintain that the 
assent must be purely rational. 

s-ibjective 2. It is not necessary, according to the teaching of most 

wffices. 6 theologians, nor is it implied in the terms of the Vatican 
definition, that the certitude of the fact of Revelation 
should be invariably, in each and every case, absolutely 
perfect. It is enough if it appears satisfactory to the 
believer, and excludes all doubt from his mind ; in other 
words, a subjective and relative certitude is sufficient. But 
this applies especially to the cases of children and unedu- 
cated persons, and even then it supposes that those persons 

PABT n.] Faith. 125 

upon whose humim testimony they rely have a perfect CHAP. i. 
and objective certitude. Cf, Haunold, Theol. Spec., lib. iii., - 
tract ix., c. 2 ; also Bishop Lefranc de Pompignan's con- 
troversy with a Calvinist, Sur la Foi des Enfants et des 
Adultes ignorants, in Migne's Curs. Theol., torn, vi., p. 1070. 

3. Among the signs of the Divine origin of a doctrine inner 
must be reckoned the inner experiences of the believer. nave'th"?** 
The effects of grace upon the soul are especially important. p 
Nevertheless, these inner experiences cannot be either the 
exclusive or even the primary criteria of the Divine origin 

of a doctrine, because they are subjective, that is, restricted 
to the person who feels them, liable to illusions, and can 
be felt only after the fact of the Revelation of the doctrine 
has been otherwise apprehended. The Faith is proposed 
by public authority, and exacts public and universal 
obedience. It must therefore be supported by public and 
plain signs of its Divine origin. 

4. Among the external signs of the fact of Revelation, Human 
purely human testimony has a place only in so far as it 
bears witness to the Divine facts connected with Revelation 

to those persons who cannot personally apprehend them. 
The proper criterion of the Divine origin of a verbal com- 
munication, as might be expected from the nature of the 
thing, and also according to the teaching of the Church, 
consists in external, supernatural, and Divine facts or 
effects, which God intimately connects with the proposition 
of His Revelation, and by which He signifies to us His will 
that we should believe that He has spoken. 

c. As God has ordained that His word should be pro- Continuity 

c 1 r i i i f 1 of the Idbii 

posed to the faithful by the ministry of authentic witnesses, ">ny. 
the first point to be established is the Divine mission of these 
witnesses. Although in theory it would be conceivable that 
it was only the first promulgators of the Faith who had their 
mission attested by Divine signs, and that this fact should 
have been handed down to us in the same way as any 
other historical event, nevertheless, as a matter of fact, 
and as might be expected from the nature of Faith and 
Revelation, God has ordained that the signs or criteria 
of Divine origin should uninterruptedly accompany the 
preaching of His doctrine. The fact of Revelation is 

126 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. thereby brought home to us in a more lively, direct, and 
*" 41 ' effective manner. This question is of the greatest im- 
portance at the present time, when the Divine mission of 
even Christ Himself is the object of so many attacks. 
When the Divine mission of the Church was denied, and 
thereby the existence of a continual, living testimony was 
rejected, Faith in the Divine mission of Christ thence- 
forth rested upon merely historical evidence, and so became 
the prey of historical criticism. Besides, without a con- 
tinuous Divine approbation, Christ's mission becomes such 
an isolated fact that its full significance cannot be grasped. 
Some Catholic theologians, in their endeavours to defend 
Christianity and the Church on purely historical grounds, 
have not given enough prominence to the constant signs 
of Divine approbation which have accompanied the 
Church's preaching in all ages. The Vatican definition 
has therefore been most opportune. It is now of Faith 
that the Church herself is " an enduring motive of credi- 
bility and an unimpeachable testimony of her Divine 
mission." Her wonderful propagation, in spite of the 
greatest moral and physical difficulties, not only in her 
early years, but even at the present day ; her eminent 
sanctity, as manifested in her Saints, combined with their 
miracles ; her inexhaustible fertility in every sort of good 
work ; her unity in Faith, discipline, and worship ; her 
invincible constancy in resisting the attacks of powerful 
enemies within and without for more than eighteen cen- 
turies : all these are manifest signs that she is not the 
work of man, but the work of God. 

Certitude g The certitude of the fact of Revelation must be in 

excluding all 

feared keeping with the firmness required by Faith. Hence all 
theologians teach that the demonstration of this fact from 
visible signs, such as prophecies and miracles, must be so 
evident as to generate a certitude excluding all doubt and 
fear of error a certitude sufficient to place a reasonable man 
under the obligation of adhering to it. This, however, does 
not mean that the evidence must be of the most perfect kind, 
so as to render denial absolutely impossible. The proofs of 
the fact of Revelation may admit of unreasonable dissent, 
as is manifest by daily experience. Our judgment on the 

PART II.] Faith. 12J 

credibility of the fact of Revelation " It is worthy of belief CHAP. i. 
that God has revealed these things ; they must, therefore, fc f2l.<'- 
be believed," is formed with reference to God's veracity 
and authority ; that is to say, the signs and wonders appear 
as indications of God's command to believe and as pledges 
of His veracity. Now, it is clear that the moral dispositions 
of the inquirer exercise the greatest influence upon such a 
judgment. If he has a love of truth, a deep reverence 
for the authority and holiness of God, and firm confidence 
in God's wisdom and providence, he easily sees how in- 
compatible it would be with the supreme perfection of 
God to give such positive indications of the existence 
of a revelation if in fact He had made no revelation at 
all. The inquirer is confronted with the dilemma : " Either 
God is a deceiver or He has given a revelation to mankind ; " 
and his good dispositions urge him unhesitatingly to accept 
the latter alternative. On the other hand, if he has a dis- 
like for, or no interest in, the truth, and if he is wanting in 
submission to God and confidence in Him, he will endea- 
vour to persuade himself that the signs do not come from 
God, or are not intended to prove a revelation. It is 
possible to refuse assent to the fact of Revelation by 
rebelling against Divine authority, and treating God as a 
deceiver, and herein consists the enormity of the sin of 
infidelity. Hence St. Paul says, " Having faith and a good 
conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck 
concerning the faith " (i Tim. i. 19). Cf. Card. Newman, 
Occasional Sermons, v., " Dispositions for Faith." 

7. The prophecies, miracles, and other signs by which The Motives 
we prove the credibility of the fact of Revelation, must wiity do not 
not be confounded with the Motive of Faith, which is the SaSh.** 
authority and veracity of God. The Motives of Credibility 
do not produce the certitude of Faith ; they merely dispose, 
lead, and urge the mind to submit to the Divine authority, 
of which they are signs. This explains the condemnation 
of Prop. ix. among those condemned by Innocent XI. : 
" The will cannot make the assent of Faith more firm in 
itself than is demanded by the weight of reasons inducing 
us to believe." By the " weight of reasons " are meant 
the Motives of Credibility, the rational certainty of which 

128 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. i. is neither the measure of the confidence with which the 

SECT. 43 

will clings to the contents and facts of Revelation, nor the 
measure of the firmness with which the intellect impelled 
by the will adheres to them. 

The ordinary 8. In order to elicit an act of Faith, we must know 
Revelation, not only the fact, but also the contents, of Revelation : 
in other words, we must know not only that a Revela- 
tion has been made, but also the things which have been 
revealed. The latter are either communicated directly by 
God or are proposed by His infallible Church. In the 
former case, Faith is possible even without their being 
proposed by the Church. The ordinary way, however, in 
which God makes Faith accessible to mankind is the 
authoritative teaching of the Church. The object of this 
teaching is not simply to convey to our minds the know- 
ledge of revealed truth, as a book would do, but to render 
possible the " faith which cometh by hearing," upon which 
the Apostle insists. By submitting to the testimony 
and authority of the Church, our Mother, we yield that 
obedience of Faith which is the result of our reverence for 
our Heavenly Father, and which is of the very essence of 
Faith. It is, indeed, more difficult, because more against 
our pride, to submit to the Church than to God directly ; 
but by so doing we act in the true spirit of Faith. 

The authoritative teaching of the Church does not 
supply an entirely independent motive of Faith, or the 
highest motive, or even a part of the highest motive. It 
acts rather as an instrument or vehicle of the real motive. 
The Church sets before us the contents of Revelation as 
worthy of belief; she proposes detailed points of doctrine 
as a living and ever-present witness, and demands our 
assent thereto on the authority of God. 

SECT. 42. Faith and Grace. 

Faith a I. It is not absolutely impossible for man unaided by 

v,rtue" a " a grace to elicit an act of faith of some kind. Man is natu- 
rally able to perceive revealed truth when brought under 
his notice, and also the authority of God and the motives 
of credibility. His moral nature, too, prompts him to 
reverence and honour God. An act of faith of some kind 

PABT It.] Faith. 129 

is, therefore, naturally possible. But the act of Faith CHAP. i. 
intended and commanded by God transcends our natural ^J 1 - 
faculties, and is supernatural in two ways : supernatural in 
its very substance or essence (secundum substantiate, sive 
essentiaui), inasmuch as it is the beginning, the root and 
foundation of man's salvation ; and also supernatural in 
its mode (secundum modum or secundum quid] by reason 
of the great difficulty which the natural man finds in 
embracing the Faith and accepting its consequences. The 
first-named supernatural character is given by Elevating 
Grace that is, by grace which raises nature to the super- 
natural order ; the other comes from Medicinal Grace 
that is, grace which makes up for the shortcomings of 
nature. The Vatican Council teaches that Faith is a 
"supernatural virtue whereby we believe with the help of 
God's grace ; " and it repeats the words of the Seventh 
Canon of the Second Council of Orange : " No man can 
assent to the gospel preaching, in the manner requisite 
for salvation (sicut oportet ad salutem consequendam\ with- 
out the light and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Who 
giveth to every man sweetness in assenting to and believ- 
ing in the truth." 

A complete explanation and proof of these various 
points must be deferred till we come to the treatise on 
Grace. For our present purpose the following will be 

II. The definition just quoted teaches directly that Faith Faith 

... ... , . T-, , supernatural 

is supernatural in its cause and in its object. But theeffectofa 

. . supernatural 

supernatural cause must communicate to the very act of cause. 
Faith the worth which enables that act to attain a super- 
natural object. Hence the act itself must be super- 
natural ; it must be substantially different from every 
merely natural act, and must be capable of attaining 
an object transcending the natural order. Speaking 
generally, the supernatural essence of the act of Faith 
consists in our accepting revealed truths in a manner 
befitting our dignity of adopted sons of God, destined to 
the Beatific Vision ; and in a manner befitting the paternal 
condescension of God, Who has deigned to speak to us as 
His children, and to call and raise us to the most intimate 

130 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [COOK f. 


SECT. 42. 

God the 
cause of 

The pre- 
must be 

union with Himself. But more particularly it consists in 
the transformation of our sense of Faith (pius credulitatts 
affectus] into a filial piety towards God, and into a striving 
after its supernatural object in a manner commensurate 
with the excellence of that object ; and also in the union 
and assimilation of our knowledge with the Divine know- 
ledge, so that Faith becomes as it were a participation of 
God's own Life and Knowledge, and an anticipation and 
ibretaste of the supernatural knowledge in store for us in 
the Beatific Vision. The supernatural essence of Divine 
Faith thus contains two elements, one moral, the other 
intellectual, intimately interwoven but still distinct 

III. Faith is Divine, not only because its certitude 
is based upon God's authority, but also because God 
Himself is the efficient cause acting upon the mind of the 
believer and producing in him subjective certainty. Gcd 
is the author of Faith as no one else can be. Holy 
Scripture teaches that Christian Faith requires an in- 
ternal illumination in addition to the external revelation 
(Matt. xvi. 17), and, besides the hearing of the external 
word, the hearing of an internal one, and the learning from 
an internal teacher (John vi. 45) : the external revelation 
is attributed to the visible Son, the internal to the in- 
visible Father. It follows that Faith cannot be produced 
by purely external influences, nor can the mind of man 
produce it by his own natural exertions. Faith must be 
infused into the soul by Divine light, and must be received 
irom the hand of God. 

IV. The acts of the mind preceding the infusion of 
the light of Faith have merely the character of pre- 
paratory dispositions or of co-operation enabling the light 
of Faith to exert its own power. But even these acts 
are supernatural from their very outset, and must there- 
fore be the result of the illumination and inspiration of 
the Holy Ghost. Hence the illumination which gives 
the soul the immediate inclination and power to elicit 
a supernatural act of Faith is not the only one to be 
taken into account. The practical judgment " that we can 
and ought to believe" which precedes the " plus affectus" 
must itself be the result of a supernatural illumination. 

PART IL] Faith. 13! 

otherwise it could not produce a supernatural act of the CHAP. i. 
will. The illumination has also the character of an E fl_ 43 * 
internal word or call of God, at least so far as it repeats 
and animates internally the command to believe given 
to us by external revelation. Nevertheless a natural 
knowledge of this same practical judgment must be pre- 
supposed in order that the supernatural illumination may 
itself take place. The best way to explain this is to con- 
sider the natural judgment as merely speculative until the 
action of the Holy Ghost transforms it into an effective 
practical judgment determining the act of Faith. 

V. The secondary and relatively supernatural character Faith also 
of Faith, although less important, is nevertheless more lupe"- 6 y 
apparent. Faith is beset with difficulties arising partly na 
from the intellectual and moral conditions of our nature 
and partly from the obligations which Faith imposes 
upon the intellect and will of the believer. Without 
the help of God's grace man could not surmount these 
difficulties, and consequently the act of Faith would be, 
even in this respect, morally impossible. All men, how- 
ever, have not the same difficulty in believing. Hence the 
necessity for God's assisting grace is not absolute but 
relative, varying with the moral and intellectual disposi- 
tions of the persons to whom Revelation is proposed. 

SECT. 43. Man's Co-operation in the Act of Faith Faith 
a Free A ct. 

I. Although so many external causes are brought to Doctrine of 

J . the Councils 

bear on the act of Faith, and although God is its principal and Scrip- 
cause, nevertheless the act of Faith is a Human Act and 

a Free Act. According to the Vatican Council it is, as we 
have seen, essentially an act of obedience, "an entire sub- 
mission of the intellect and the will." It is therefore not 
simply a passive or receptive act, nor a blind, instinctive 
act, nor an act forced upon us by Divine grace or by the 
weight of demonstration. The Council of Trent (sess. vi. 
chaps. 4-5) describes Faith as a "free movement towards 
God," implying a twofold operation : hearing His outward 
word and receiving His inward inspiration. The Vatican 
Council further explains the Tridcntine doctrine in sess. 

132 A Manual of Cathohc Theology. [COOK i. 

CHAP. i. iii., chap. 3. It speaks of "yielding free obedience to 

- 44 " God," thus meeting the rationalistic assertion that the 

assent of Christian Faith is the necessary result of human 

arguments. The same doctrine may be gathered from 

Holy Scripture, which always speaks of the act of Faith as 

a free and moral act, an act of obedience, of worship, and 

the like : cf. Rom. iv. 20 ; Mark x. 22 ; John xx. 27 ; 

Matt. xvi. 17; Luke i. 45; Matt. ix. 29; Rom. iv. 3-20 

sqq. ; Gal. iii. 6. 

Twofold n. The Council of Trent also indicates the positive 


character of the free act of the will determining the act 
of Faith : the will determines the act of Faith freely because 
its moral dispositions move it to obey God. Besides 
this primary liberty of Faith, there is also a secondary 
liberty, arising from the non-cogency of the motives of 
credibility, which allows the will to withhold its consent 
and leaves room for doubt and even denial. Hence 
every act of Faith must be determined by an act of free 
will. The non-cogency of the motives of credibility may 
be referred to three causes (a) the obscurity of the 
Divine testimony (inevidentia attestantis) ; (b] the obscu- 
rity of the contents of Revelation ; (c] the opposition 
between the obligations imposed upon us by Faith and 
the evil inclinations of our corrupt nature. 
Liberty of III. In eliciting the act of Faith man's freedom is elevated 

Faith super- .... 

natural. to the supernatural order. This supernatural dignity and 
excellence lead to a supernatural and Divine freedom 
of the mind, the freedom of the children of God, the 
freedom from error and doubt, the full and perfect posses- 
sion of the highest truth in the bosom of the Eternal 
Truth. Its childlike simplicity is really the highest sense, 
and leads to the highest intellectual attainments, whereas 
infidelity leads only to folly. " No more children tossed 
to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine 
by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness " (Eph. 
iv. 14; cf. Luke x. 21). 

SECT. 44. The Supreme Certitude of Faith. 

The cer- e 

F&STthe I. Faith requires the fullest assent, excluding every 

iJMulmy. doubt and every fear of deception, and including the 

PART IT.] Faith. 133 

fullest conviction that what is believed cannot be other CHAP. i. 
than true. No other faith answers to the excellence and E fJ[_ 44 - 
force of God's infallible truth. Faith is thus essentially 
different from mere opinion without certitude, and also 
from so-called practical or moral certitude. The certi- 
tude of Faith, as regards the firmness of assent, is essen- 
tially higher and more perfect than the certitude of 
science. The motive of Faith, which is the authority of 
God, is more trustworthy than the light of our reason, 
by which we obtain scientific certitude. We are bound 
therefore to reject unconditionally any doubts or difficul- 
ties arising from the exercise of our reason. As theolo- 
gians say, the certainty of Faith is supreme, surmounting 
all doubts and rising above all other certainties (certitudo 
super omnia). The Vatican Council, as we have seen, 
declares Faith to be a complete submission of the mind, 
consisting in the perfect subjugation of the created in- 
tellect to the uncreated Truth. And the council also 
enjoins the unconditional rejection of any scientific in- 
quiry at variance with the Faith (sess. iii. c. 4). 

II. In order to understand this, a threefold distinction Explanation, 
must be made. 

1. The supreme certitude of Faith is appreciative in its 
nature that is to say, it includes and results from a supreme 
appreciation of its motive, but is not necessarily felt more 
vividly than any other certitude. As a rule, this certitude 
is felt even less vividly than human certitude based upon 
unimpeachable evidence. 

2. The supreme firmness of Faith must likewise be 
distinguished from the incapability of being shaken which 
belongs to evident human knowledge. 

3. That the certitude of Faith is supreme does not 
imply that all other certitude is untrustworthy, or that we 
must be ready to resist evident human certitude apparently 
conflicting with the Faith. A real conflict between Faith 
and reason is impossible. 

III. The high degree of certitude which belongs to the The light of 
act of Faith is attained and completed by means of the 
supernatural light of Faith which pervades all the elements 

of the act. This light, being, as it were, a ray of the Divine 

134 -d Manual of Catholic Theology. [HOOK I. 

*^VP. i. Light, participates in the Divine infallibility and cannot 
but illumine the truth. The certitude produced by it is 
therefore Divine in every respect, and so absolutely infal- 
lible that a real act of Faith can never have falsehood for 
its subject-matter. This has been defined by the Vatican 
Council, repeating the definition of the Fifth Lateran 
Council : " Every assertion contrary to enlightened Faith 
(illuminates fidei, i.e. Faith produced by Divine illumina- 
tion) we define to be altogether false " (sess. iii., chap. 4). 
The words " illuminatae fidei " signify the Faith as it is pro- 
duced in the believer, as distinct from the external objec- 
tive proposition of revealed truth, and also as distinct from 
the act of human faith. In like manner the Council of 
Trent states that Faith affords a certitude which can- 
not have falsehood for its subject-matter (cut non potest 
subesse falsum}. The light of Faith cannot be misapplied 
to belief in error ; nevertheless it is possible for man to mis- 
take an act of natural faith in a supposed revelation for 
a supernatural act elicited by the aid of the light of Faith. 
Some external criterion is needed whereby we may dis- 
tinguish the one from the other. Such a criterion is sup- 
plied by the Faith of the Church, which cannot err. Catholic 
Faith carries with it the consciousness that it is Divine 
Faith produced by Divine light, whereas the self-made 
faith of Protestants cannot assert itself as Divine without 
leading to fanaticism. 

Faith iv. The supreme certitude of Faith implies that we 

irreformable. * 

must have the will to remain true to the Faith without 
doubt or denial, and the firm conviction that it can never 
be given up on account of its turning out to be false. 
Hence, every act of Faith is an irreformable act, and pos- 
sesses a certitude that cannot be shaken. Faith can, how- 
ever, be destroyed by an abuse of our free-will. Again, we 
are bound to reform faith which is erroneously thought to be 
Divine but is applied by mistake to propositions not revealed 
by God. The Vatican Council, after declaring how God 
co-operates in the acceptance of Faith and in perseverance 
therein, concludes thus : " Wherefore the condition of those 
who have by the heavenly gift of Faith cleaved to Catholic 
truth is by no means on a footing with the condition of 

PART IT.] Faith. 135 

those who, led by human opinions, follow a false religion ; CHAP. i. 
for those who have received the Faith under the teaching E ^_ 4 ^- 
of the Church can never have any just cause for changing 
or calling the Faith in doubt " (sess. iii., chap. 3). And in 
Canon 6, directed against the doctrines of Hermes, the 
council enacts, "If any one shall say that the condition of 
the Faithful is on a footing with that of those who have 
not yet reached the one true Faith, so that Catholics can 
have just cause for calling in doubt the Faith which they 
have received under the Church's teaching, until they shall 
have completed a scientific demonstration of the truth and 
credibility of their Faith, let him be anathema." Every one 
who embraces the Catholic Faith binds himself most 
strictly to adhere to it for ever. " I promise most con- 
stantly to retain and confess the same [Faith] entire and 
inviolate, by God's help, to the last breath of my life" 
(Creed of Pius IV.). No excuse can be made for any 
breach of fidelity, except on the score of ignorance. Every 
doubt against the Faith must unhesitatingly be rejected as 

SECT. 45. Necessity of Faith. 

I. The Necessity of Faith is twofold: a Necessity of Necessity 
Means and a Necessity of Precept. The latter always 
includes the former, but not vice versd. 

The Faith which is a necessary means of justification 
and salvation is Theological Faith, perfect in its kind. In 
infants the Habit of Faith is sufficient ; in those who have 
reached the use of reason some act is required bearing in 
some way on the economy of salvation as revealed by God. 
Faith, in the broad sense of the word that is, faith founded 
on the testimony which creatures give of God's existence 
and providence is not enough (see prop, xxiii., condemned 
by Innoc. XL, March 2, 1679). Nor is Inchoate Faith suffi- 
cient that is, a faith in the germ, not extending beyond a 
willingness and readiness to believe. The act of Faith must 
be complete, and must be based upon a supernatural Divine 
Revelation. Faith alone can give that knowledge of the 
supernatural economy of salvation which enables man to dis- 
pose his actions in harmony with his supernatural end. This. 

136 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 1. 

CHAP. i. reason is adduced by the Apostle (Heb. xi. 6) to prove 
5ECT^4 S . t j_^ t Abel and Henoch, like Abraham, obtained their justifi- 
cation and salvation by means of Faith, although Holy 
Scripture does not say of them, as of Abraham, that their 
Faith was founded upon a positive Divine Revelation : 
" Without Faith it is impossible to please God ; for he that 
cometh to God [to serve Him] must believe that He is, and 
is [becomes, yiverai] a rewarder to them that seek Him." 
-uthin i. The two points of Faith mentioned in this text are 

indispensable, because they are the two poles on which 
the whole economy of salvation turns. There is probably 
some allusion to the words spoken by God to Abraham : 
" I am thy protector and thy reward exceeding great " 
(Gen. xv. i). Hence the words, " that He is," refer to the 
existence of God, not in the abstract, but as being our God, 
as leading us on to salvation under the care of His paternal 
Providence. A belief in His existence, in this sense, is the 
fundamental condition of all our dealing with Him, and 
this belief is as much above our natural knowledge as is 
the belief in God the Rewarder. If, as St. Peter Chryso- 
logus states, the first article of the Apostles' Creed ex- 
presses belief in God as our Father, then the words " that 
He is" correspond with this article, just as the words "that 
He is a rewarder to them that seek Him " correspond with 
the last article, " Life everlasting." Theologians rightly 
conclude from Heb. xi. 6 that, at least in pre-Christian 
times, the two points there mentioned were alone necessary 
to be expressly believed. They suffice to enable man to 
tend by hope and charity towards God as the Source of 

2. It is an open question whether, after Christ's 

. * A 

coming, Faith in the Christian economy is not mdis- 


pensable. Many texts in Holy Scripture seem to demand 
Faith in Christ, in His death and resurrection, as a neces- 
sary condition of salvation. On the other hand, it is not 
easy to understand how eternal salvation should have 
become impossible for those who are unable to arrive at 
an explicit knowledge of Christian Revelation. The best 
solution of the difficulty would seem to be that given by 
Suarez (De Fide, disA>. xii., sect. iv.). The texts demand- 

Faith in the 



how far 


PART IT.J Faith. 137 

ing Faith in Christ and the Blessed Trinity must not be CHAP. i. 
interpreted more rigorously than those referring to the ^^i 45 ' 
necessity of Baptism, especially as Faith in Christ, Faith 
in the Blessed Trinity, and the necessity of Baptism 
are closely connected together. The Faith in these 
mysteries is, like Baptism, the ordinary normal means of 
salvation. Under extraordinary circumstances, however, 
when the actual reception of Baptism is impossible, the 
mere implicit desire (votuni) suffices. So, too, the implicit 
desire to believe in Christ and the Trinity must be deemed 
sufficient. By " implicit desire " we mean the desire to 
receive, to believe, and to do whatever is needful for salva- 
tion, although what is to be received, believed, and done is 
not explicitly known. The implicit wish and willingness 
to believe in Christ must be accompanied by and con- 
nected with an explicit Faith in Divine Providence as 
having a care of our salvation ; and this Faith implies 
Faith and Hope in the Christian economy of salvation 
(see St. Thorn., 2 a 2, q. 2, a. 7). 

II. The Necessity of Precept that is, the obligation "/^Tpt* 
arising from the command to believe extends conditionally 
to the whole of Revelation. As soon as we know that a 
truth has been revealed, AVC are bound to believe it explicitly. 
The number of revealed truths which we are bound to 
know and believe explicitly, varies with the circumstances 
and abilities of the individual. There is no positive law 
concerning them. Every Christian, however, is bound to 
know explicitly those revealed truths which are necessary 
for leading a Christian life and for the fulfilment of the 
duties of his state. It is the general opinion of theologians 
that there is a grave obligation to know the contents of the 
Apostles' Creed, the Decalogue, the Lord's Prayer, and all 
that is required for the worthy reception of the Sacraments 
and for proper participation in public worship. Cf. St. 
Thorn. 2 !l 2 X , q. 2, aa. 3-8, with the commentaries thereon 

158 A Manual oj Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 


SECT. 46. Doctrine of the Vatican Council on tJie 
Understanding of Faith. 

CHAP. n. I. WE have now to consider how- far we can understand 
the supernatural truths or mysteries which we believe on 

ticn. the authority of God and the Church. Rationalists and 

Agnostics of all times have held that no understanding is 
possible of things beyond the sphere of natural reason. 
Abelard and some theologians of the thirteenth century, 
and in modern times Giinther and Frohschammer, were of 
opinion that nothing is beyond the grasp of human reason, 
and, consequently, that supernatural truths can be demon- 
strated by reason, and that Faith can be replaced by 
knowledge. Other theologians allow the co-existence of 
Faith with knowledge, pretending that reason adds a new 
certitude to Faith. 

Vatican II. Against these errors the Vatican Council teaches 
that some understanding of mysteries is possible, and it 
lays down its conditions and rules : " When Reason en- 
lightened by Faith maketh diligent, pious, and sober 
inquiry, she attaineth, by God's gift, most fruitful know- 
ledge of mysteries, both from the analogy of things natu- 
rally known and from the relation of mysteries with one 
another and with the end of man." Then the Council sets 
forth that this understanding is less clear and less perfect 
than our understanding of things natural : " Still she 
(Reason) is never rendered fit to perceive them in the same 
way as the truths which are her own proper object. For 


PART II.] Faith and Understanding. 1 39 

the Divine mysteries, by their very nature, so far surpass CHAP, it 
the created intellect that, even when conveyed by Revela- 
tion and received by Faith, they remain covered by the 
veil of the Faith and, as it were, hidden by a cloud, as 
long as in this mortal life we are absent from the Lord, for 
we walk by faith and not by sight " (sess. iii., chap. 4). 

III. Faith, then, seeking after understanding (fidzs CoroiiaHe. 
qucerens intellectutri) first adapts the natural notions of the 
mind to things Divine by determining the analogies or 
likenesses between the two orders. An understanding is 
thus obtained of the several mysteries varying in perfection 
with the perfection of the analogical conceptions. Further, 
comparing the mysteries with one another, and grouping 
them in the order determined by the principle of causality, 
the mind, enlightened by Faith, contemplates a magnificent 
cycle, beginning and ending with God, and constituted 
after the manner of a living organism. Unity is given 
to this noble cosmos of supernature by the terminus to 
which every part of it is directed the glory of God in the 
Beatific Vision, which is also the last end of man. 

Practical illustrations of this theory will be found in 
every chapter of the following treatises ; for the harmony 
of the whole, see the Division of the work given at the end 
of the Introduction. 

IV. The Understanding of Faith cannot lead to any Results of 
independent certitude, nor can it afford any additional standing""* 
certitude to the certitude of Faith. Its only effect is to 
facilitate and strengthen the act of Faith by removing 
apparent difficulties, and by inducing the mind to accept 
truths so beautifully in harmony with one another and 
with the Nature of God and the nature of man. The 
Understanding of Faith has, therefore, a moral rather than 
a purely logical character, and corresponds with the pious 
dispositions of the will which incline to Faith. Its moral 
persuasiveness is felt more as regards the first principles 
of the supernatural order ; its logical persuasiveness is 
more manifest in connection with inferred truths. 

140 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 


SECTM?. SECT. 47. Theological Knowledge. 

Nature of I. The immediate object of the Understanding of Faith 

stitnw g .' cal is to present to the mind of the believer a true, distinct, 
and comparatively perfect notion of what he must believe. 
A further object is to evolve from Faith a wider and deeper 
knowledge rooted in Faith but not formally identical with 
it, and having a certitude of its own similar to the certitude 
of Faith, but not exactly of the same kind. 

Revealed truths, just like natural truths, can be used as 
principles from which other truths may be logically in- 
ferred. When so used, these revealed truths are called 
Theological Reasons, as distinguished from human or 
natural reason*:. In the domain of natural science, the 
certitude with which we adhere to the conclusion of an 
argument is only an extension of our certitude of the 
premises, and is of the same kind. But in the domain of 
Faith our certitude of the conclusion of an argument is 
the result of two distinct factors Faith and reason, and 
is therefore essentially different from and inferior to our 
certitude of one of the premises. This kind of certitude 
is called Theological Certitude. Hence Theological Know- 
ledge differs, on the one hand, from philosophical or natural 
science ; and, on the other hand, from the knowledge of 
the revealed principles from which it starts. Like natural 
science, it has complete scientific value only when its 
demonstrations are based on principles which are the real 
objective causes of the conclusions ; in other words, only 
when it shows not merely that the thing is (quia est, ort), 
but also why and wherefore it is (jtropter quid sit, Sm). 
But since Faith, as such, requires us to know only what 
its subject-matter is, we have here another difference 
between simple Faith and Theological Knowledge, 
its certitude II. It is an open question whether the certitude of theolo-* 
su^r*' gical conclusions is supernatural or merely natural. If we 
consider that the conclusion cannot be stronger than the 
weaker of the premises, it would seem that theological 
conclusions are only humanly or naturally certain. On 
the other hand, theological conclusions are organically 
connected with the Understanding of Faith, from which 

PART IL] Faith and Understanding. 141 

they spring as their root, and of which they are a natural CHAP. n. 
expansion. They are also supported by the pious and SE f3l_ 48 - 
loving disposition to believe. The true theologian looks 
upon the rational minor premise less as a partial motive 
than as a means whereby he arrives at the full comprehen- 
sion of the major premise. God, Who preserves His 
Church from error when she proposes theological con- 
clusions for our belief, will likewise extend His grace to 
the assent which the theologian gives to similar conclu- 
sions. At any rate, all this goes to prove that the assent 
to theological conclusions is of a higher character than the 
assent of heretics and infidels founded upon human motives, 
and that consequently these latter can no more possess 
true theological science than supernatural Faith. We see, 
too, that Theological Knowledge, in its principles and con- 
clusions, enjoys a more sacred and inviolable certitude 
than any human science, and that every human certitude 
not intrinsically and extrinsically perfect must give way 
to theological conclusions perfectly ascertained. 

SECT. 48. Scientific Character of Theology. 

I. A science pure and simple should be, not merely a Theology* 
collection of facts or truths, but a complete system or- sc 
ganically linked together by fixed laws and reducible to 
objective unity. Theology fulfils these conditions in an 
eminent degree. Its subjective principle of cognition is one, 
and its subject-matter is one, viz. God, the supreme sub- 
stantial unity. Created things are dealt with only in as far 
as they tend towards God and are factors or elements of 
the Divine order of things. Science, it is sometimes said, 
should deal only with necessary, eternal, and universal 
truths, not with what is contingent, temporal, and particular. 
This, rightly understood, would mean that science is not 
concerned with the transient and changeable, but with the 
ideas and laws that govern and connect such phenomena. 
In this sense also theology is eminently a science. Its 
primary object, God, is necessary and eternal, and rules 
over all things. Besides, the contingent facts of which it 
treats are considered in so far as they eternally exist in 
the all-commanding will of God, and many of them, as for 

142 A Manual of Catholic Tlieology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. ii. instance the birth of Christ, are of lasting, nay eternal 
E lll 49 ' importance, and so possess as it were a universal character. 
Thtoio^y a II. Theology is a distinct and separate science by reason 
*"'. of its peculiar principle of cognition and its peculiar 
subject-matter. The peculiarity of its principle of cogni- 
tion makes it a science generically distinct from all other 
sciences. So, too, does its subject-matter, which embraces 
the whole supernatural dl-der. This, however, does not 
prevent Theology from including in its domain many truths 
which also belong to the other sciences. It derives its 
knowledge from God's omniscience, and therefore can throw 
light on everything that can be known. But the super- 
natural is its primaiy, direct, and proper subject-matter. 
The natural belongs to theology only in certain respects 
and for a special purpose, viz. in so far as what is natural 
is related to the supernatural order. Theology, therefore, 
does not deal with the subject-matter of the other sciences 
in the same way and with the same exhaustiveness as these 
sciences do. See St. Thorn., Contra Gentes, 1. ii., c. 4 ; Card. 
Newman, Idea of a University, p. 430. 

SECT. 49. TJie Rank of Theology among the Sciences. 
rheoiogy I. Theology, by reason of the excellence of its subject- 

the noblest j r , r i i_ i il 

science. matter and of its principle of knowledge, is both subjec- 
tively and objectively the highest and noblest of all sciences. 
Objectively, the dignity and excellence of a science depend 
upon the dignity, universality, and unity of its subject- 
matter three attributes which we have just shown to be- 
long in an eminent degree to the subject-matter of Theo- 
logy. Subjectively, the excellence of a science is measured 
by the degree of certainty which it affords. But Theology, 
both in its principles and conclusions, especially when they 
are guaranteed by the Church, possesses the highest cer- 
titude. Moreover, as it demonstrates all its contents on the 
ground of Eternal Reasons (rationes ceternce), i.e. of God and 
His eternal ideas, it is also the most profound and thorough 
of all the sciences. It is, indeed, inferior to some of the 
sciences as regards clearness and distinctness, because its 
evidence is not direct, and its notions are analogical. This, 
however, does not degrade Theology, because this defect 

PART II.] Faith and Understanding. 143 

if such it be is amply atoned for by other excellences, CHAP, n 
and is even a proof of the dignity of Theology, because SK f3l 50 - 
it is a consequence of the exalted character of supernatural 
knowledge. This supreme excellence may be fitly ex- 
pressed by styling Theology the Transcendental Science ; 
for, borne up by Faith and the pious boldness of Faith, 
it really attains what a godless and reckless modern science 
vainly strives after. 

II. The Fathers and theologians, following the example Theology 
of Holy Scripture, express the peculiar dignity of Theo- wisdom, 
logy by terming it Wisdom pure and simple, or Divine 
Wisdom {Sapientid). By this is meant a knowledge far 
above common knowledge, a knowledge dealing with the 
highest principles and most exalted things, and yet with the 
greatest certitude ; perfecting the mind and elevating it to 
God the highest Good and ultimate End of all ; enabling us 
in the practical order to direct all our actions and tendencies 
towards their proper object Eternal Beatitude. Human 
reason, indeed, endeavours to attain a knowledge fulfilling 
these conditions, wherefore Aristotle called Metaphysics 
" Wisdom," because to him it was the noblest science. The 
wisdom of this world is styled Philosophy, that is, a love of 
and seeking after wisdom ; but it is Theology alone that 
is the true Wisdom itself. Hence the name of Wisdom 
is given in many passages of Holy Scripture to the know- 
ledge contained in or developed from Faith (see especially 
i Cor. i. and ii.). 

SECT. 50. 77/i? three great branches of Theology Funda- 
mental, Positive, and Speculative. 

We have already mentioned the various branches of 
Theology (Introduction, p. xvii.). We are now in a position 
to speak of them in detail. 

I. Theology may be said to be the science of Revela- Three 
tion. It tells us (i) that there is a Revelation; (2) how T t" y of 
we are to know the things that have been revealed ; (3) 
what are the things that have been revealed ; and (4) what 
are the relations between these things, and what the in- 
ferences that can be drawn from them. Now, it is clear 
that I and 2 are the groundwork of 3 and 4 ; that 3 is 

144 -A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. ii. of a positive character that is, dealing with fact ; and 
that 4 is more subtle and metaphysical than the others. 
Hence we have three great branches of Theology : Funda- 
mental, Positive, and Speculative. 

Fonda- II. The existence and attributes of God are proved in 

Theology, that branch of Philosophy called Natural Theology. They 
come within the province of unaided reason, and need no 
supernatural Revelation to manifest them (Rom. i. 20 ; 
ii. 14, 15 ; Acts xiv. 14-16 ; Wisd. xiii. 1-9). But God has 
freely bestowed upon us a higher way of knowing Him and 
His dealings with man. He has spoken directly by His 
own voice and the voice of His Son, and indirectly through 
Prophets, Apostles, and Inspired Writers (Heb. i. i, 2). 
Those who originally heard God or PI is envoys were con- 
vinced of the Divine origin of what they heard, by the 
working of miracles and the fulfilment of prophecies. 
Those who lived in after ages had first to be convinced 
of the truth of the record of these sayings and doings 
handed down by word of mouth or by writing, and then 
were able to infer that these really came from God. Now 
it is the business of Fundamental Theology to prove the 
trustworthiness of these records, to examine the evidence 
for the various miracles and prophecies, and so to establish 
that God has indeed " at sundry times and in divers manners 
spoken in times past to the fathers by the Prophets," and 
afterwards by His Son. But the evidence for the fact of 
Revelation is not merely a matter of history. We have 
before our eyes a plain proof that God has spoken, and 
has worked supernaturally. The Catholic Church herself, 
by her wonderful propagation, her eminent sanctity, and 
her inexhaustible fertility in all that is good, is a standing 
unanswerable argument of her Divine origin and mission. 
The dogmatic constitution published in the third session 
of the Vatican Council summarizes the scope and function 
of Fundamental Theology under four headings : (i) God 
the Creator of all things ; (2) Revelation ; (3) Faith ; (4) 
Faith and Reason. 

As soon as we know that God has spoken we naturally 
ask, How are we to find out the things that He has 
revealed ? This question was the turning-point of the 

PART II.] Faith and Understanding. 145 

controversy between the Catholics and the Protestants CHAP. n. 

. SECT. 50. 

in the sixteenth century, and was decided by the Council 
of Trent (sess. iv.). The branch of Theology that deals 
with it may be styled fundamental, inasmuch as the ques- 
tion concerns the very basis of our belief ; but it is more 
usually called Polemical or Controversial Theology. 

The other branch of Fundamental Theology is some- 
times designated Apologetic Theology, because its function 
is to defend Revelation against Rationalists, Deists, Atheists, 
and others. 

III. After having established that God has made a ? sit j ve 

& Theologj 

Revelation, and after having discovered the means of 
knowing the things that He has revealed, our next step is 
to inquire what these things are. Positive Theology takes 
for granted all that has been proved by Fundamental 
Theology, both Apologetic and Controversial. It examines 
the various sources of Revelation, written and unwritten ; 
it tells us that in God there are Three Persons, that God 
raised man to the supernatural order, that man fell, that 
God the Son took flesh and died for us, and so on with 
the other great mysteries. Its proper function is to estab- 
lish the truths of Revelation, and not to penetrate into their 
inner and deeper meaning and mutual relations. But 
those who treat of it do not restrict themselves to the 
former task, but make excursions into the higher region. 

IV. The noblest branch of Theology is that which is Speculative 


concerned, not with proving the contents of Revelation, 
but with comparing revealed truths and entering into their 
very essence as far as reason, guided by Faith, will allow. 
Speculative Theology starts where Positive Theology ends : 
Positive Theology proves a dogma ; Speculative Theology 
examines it closely, views it in connection with other 
dogmas, and strives thereby to get a deeper insight into it 
and into them. The attacks made by Protestants on the 
Rule of Faith, and those made by Rationalists on the very 
existence of Revelation, have naturally drawn off attention 
from this profound and sublime study. But at the present 
time signs are not wanting that it is once more being culti- 
vated. The deep and many-sided insight which it gives 
into things Divine is itself a most desirable enrichment of 


146 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 

CHAP. ii. the mind, enabling us to participate more fully in the 
SECT^JI. bi essm g s anc | f ru j ts O f the Faith. It is also of help to our 
Faith, not indeed by increasing its certainty, but by pre- 
senting revealed truths to better advantage in the light 
which they throw on one another, and in the harmony of 
their mutual relations. Even against heretics it is not 
without value. Their chief strength lies in the confusion of 
ideas, in the falsification of true notions, and in the abuse 
of logic. On all these points Speculative Theology renders 
great service to the truth. The great controversialists 
of the last three centuries have been at the same time 
profound speculative theologians. See Canus, 1. viii., and 
1. xii., c. 2 ; Kleutgen, TheoL, vol. iii., diss. I and 5. 

These V. An example will perhaps help us to understand the 

applied"?" 8 various distinctions spoken of in this section. We take 

e t he gma the dogma of the Blessed Trinity. 

Tmuty. j ]sj atura i Theology, which is really a branch of Philo- 

sophy, proves to us that God exists. 

2. Apologetic Theology proves that He has revealed 
to us truths above our reason. 

3. Controversial Theology proves that the testimony 
and authority of the Catholic Church is the means of 
finding out what God has revealed. 

4. Positive Theology proves that it has been revealed 
that there are three Persons in God. 

5. Speculative Theology teaches us how One Divine 
Essence is possessed by Three distinct Persons, viz. that 
One Person possesses It as uncommunicated ; a Second 
possesses It as communicated by knowledge ; and a Third 
possesses It as communicated by love. 

We repeat in this place that the present manual deals 
chiefly with Positive Theology. Occasionally we shall rise 
into Speculative Theology, notably in Book II., Part II., 
chap, iv., where we strive to penetrate into the mystery 
of the Trinity. 

SECT. 51. Relation between Reason and Faith. 

Rationalistic TTT 1-1 T-> -,1 i , i 

-laims I. Human reason, like Faith, has its own proper subject- 

by n the mn ' matter and province. It also lays the foundation of Faith, 
council ar >d aids in the development of revealed doctrines. There 

PART II.] Faith and Understanding. 147 

is. however, a certain territory which is common to both CHAP. n. 

SECT. 51. 

Reason and Faith. Hence we must consider the mutual 
relations of the two. This subject has been clearly ex- 
pounded by the Vatican Council (sess. iii., chap. 4), so 
that we need only quote and explain what is there laid 

1. "If any one shall say that in Divine Revelation no 
mysteries properly so-called are contained, but that all the 
dogmas of the Faith can be understood and proved from 
natural principles by reason duly cultivated : let him be 

2. " If any one shall say that human sciences are to 
be treated with such freedom that their assertions, although 
at variance with revealed doctrine, can be received as true, 
and cannot be proscribed by the Church : let him, etc. 

3. " If any one shall say that it can come to pass that 
at some time, according to the progress of science, a mean- 
ing should be attributed to the dogmas proposed by the 
Church other than that which the Church hath understood 
and doth understand : let him," etc. 

In these three canons the principal claims of the 
Rationalists are condemned : (i) The right to treat of 
revealed truths in the same way as natural truths, that 
is, on purely natural principles and with purely natural 
certitude ; (2) the right of human reason to hold its 
scientific conclusions, notwithstanding their opposition to 
revealed doctrines, and independently of the authority of 
the Church ; and (3) the right to substitute new meanings 
for old ones, in the definitions of Faith. It is plain that 
these claims not only entirely emancipate Reason from the 
control of Faith, but also invade the proper domain of Faith 
and destroy its supernatural character. 

II. The fundamental principles upon which the rela- Funda- 
tions between Faith and Reason are based are stated by princfpies. 
the Council to be the following : 

i. Reason is a principle or source of knowledge, and 
possesses a domain of its own. Faith, too, is a principle 
of knowledge, higher in dignity than reason, and likewise 
having its own proper domain. 

2. As both Faith and Reason come from God, they 

I4& A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK i. 
CHAP. n. cannot be opposed to each other, or arrive at contradictory 

SECT. 51. 


3. From these two principles the Council infers that any 
conclusion or assertion opposed to illuminated (supernatural) 
Faith is altogether false, and only apparently reasonable. 
Hence a Catholic has the right and the duty to reject any 
such assertion or conclusion as soon as he is informed by 
the infallible teaching of the Church that his Faith is 
really illuminated. Again, Faith and Reason combine 
for mutual aid and support, yet in such a way that each 
retains its own proper character and comparative inde- 
pendence. Reason assists Faith by demonstrating the 
credibility of Faith, by contributing to the understanding 
of its subject-matter, and by developing it into theological 
science. On the other hand, Faith is of service to Reason, 
by rescuing it from many errors, even in the domain of 
human science, and by guiding it to a profounder and 
'more comprehensive knowledge of natural truths. This 
influence of Faith on Reason implies, indeed, a certain 
weakness and dependence on the part of Reason, but does 
not interfere with its legitimate conclusions or legitimate 
freedom. It is only a false liberty or licence that is in- 
consistent with submission to Faith. 
Reason the HI. The relations between Reason and Faith can be 


of Faith. summed up in the well-known formula : " Reason is the 
hand-maiden of Faith." That is to say, Faith and its 
theological development are the highest science, and are 
the supreme object and highest end towards which the 
activity of man can be directed. St. Thomas expresses the 
same doctrine thus : " Seeing that the end of the whole of 
Philosophy is lower than and is ordained to the end of 
Theology, the latter should rule all the other sciences, and 
take into her service what they teach " (prol. in I. Sent. q. I. 
a. i). And St. Bonaventure : " Theology takes from nature 
the materials to make a mirror in which Divine things 
are reflected, and she constructs as it were a ladder, the 
lowest rung of which is on earth, and the highest in Heaven" 
(Prol. Breviloq^. The Seraphic Doctor develops the same 
idea in his splendid work, Reductio artium ad Thcologiam. 
See Dr. Clemens, De Scholasticorum sententia : PJiiloso- 

PART iij Faith and Understanding. 1 49 

pJiiam esse ancillam Theologies : Kleutgen, vol. iv., n. 3 1 5 sqq. 
Franzelin, De Trad., Append., cap. vi. : Card. Newman, Idea 
of a University, p. 428. 

IV. Hence it follows that philosophy must be, in a certain Philosophy 
sense, Christian and Catholic in its spirit, in its principles, Christian. 
and in its conclusions. Its spirit is Catholic when the philo- 
sopher is guided by the doctrines of Faith, when he aims 
at a fuller knowledge of the natural truths contained in 
Revelation, and prepares the way for the scientific develop- 
ment of supernatural truths. Its principles and conclu- 
sions are Catholic when they agree with Faith, or at 
least do not clash with it, and when they can be used 
in speculative theology. In other words, philosophy is 
Christian and Catholic when it is really true and sound 
philosophy. Non-Christian philosophy can indeed, to a 
certain extent, be true and sound ; nevertheless, the nature 
of the science itself, and its history, prove that its proper 
development is dependent on its Christian spirit. In 
pre-Christian times, Socratic philosophy attained a high 
degree of perfection, and became the foundation upon 
which Christian philosophy is built. The Fathers recog- 
nized in this fact the Hand of God preparing the way for 
the science of the Gospel. By Socratic philosophy we 
mean the due combination of its two forms, Platonic and 
Aristotelian. These two correct and supplement each 
other, and should not be separated. (See the interest- 
ing parallel between Plato and Aristotle, in St. Thorn. 
Opusc., De Substantiis Separatist) Christian philosophy 
blends them together, although it has sometimes given 
more prominence to one than to the other. The use which 
the Church has made, and continues to make, of this com- 
bined system is a guarantee of the truth of its main 
principles and conclusions. Hence any attempt to sub- 
stitute for it a totally new or different system must be 
viewed with distrust, so much the more as all modern 
attempts of the kind have miserably failed. 

150 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 


SECT^ 5 2. SECT. 52. Theology as a Sacred Science. 

Divine light I. A supernatural illumination of the mind is in the first 

needed in . ... . ........ 

Theology, place needed to assist the mind in overcoming the dimcul- 
ties naturally inherent in a knowledge of supernatural 
things. These difficulties arise from the nature of the 
human mind, which draws its notions from the sensible 
world, and is subject to the influence of passion and pre- 
judice. Both sorts of difficulties are alluded to by the 
Apostle : " The sensual (^/vx tK c) m ^n perceiveth not these 
things that are of the Spirit of God : for it is foolishness to 
him, and he cannot understand : because it is spiritually 
(77Vi^ar<icwc) examined. But the spiritual (Trvsu/iarticoe) 
man judgeth all things" (i Cor. ii. 14, 15). The Divine 
assistance required for their removal is often mentioned in 
Scripture, e.g. " His unction teacheth you of all things " 
(i John ii. 27 ; cf. Eph. i. 17). 

Again, the action of the Holy Ghost is required, at 
least morally, to produce that purity of disposition and 
humility of heart which are indispensable for all moral 
and religious knowledge, and especially for a know- 
ledge of the supernatural. This assistance is often so 
effective, that it contributes more to the perfection of 
spiritual science than the best-developed but unassisted 
natural abilities. Hence children and uneducated people 
sometimes have a clearer perception of the mysteries of 
the Faith than persons calling themselves philosophers. 
" I give thee thanks, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, 
because thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent (OTTO o-o^wv KOI auvirwv), and hast revealed them 
to little ones " (v>)7n'o<c, Matt. xi. 25 ; cf. v. 8, and Wisd. i. 
4). Card. Newman, Oxford University Sermons, xiii., " On 
Implicit and Explicit Reason ;" Grammar of Assent, chap, 
viii., 3, " Natural Inference." 

influence 1 1. The influence of the Holy Ghost on our spiritual 

of Divine r 

charity knowledge reaches its perfection when He diffuses in our 
soul the supernatural life of Divine Love. This life brings 
us into most intimate connection with the mysteries of the 
Faith, keeps them continually before our mind, and, as it 
were, identifies us with them. Divine charity, which is 

PART II.] Faith and Understanding. 151 

fruitful of good works, is also productive of increased know- CHAP. n. 
ledge of spiritual things. It transforms the elementary &E< ^_ 53 " 
understanding into a perfect Wisdom which is a foretaste 
and beginning of the Beatific Vision. Charity gives 
a keenness to the spiritual eye, and fixes it upon the 
Divine Love ; Charity gives us a sense of the Divine 
Beauty and Sweetness ; Chanty likens us to God Himself, 
inasmuch as He is the principle of the greatest mysteries ; 
the more we love the better we understand the love of 
others. The spiritual contentment produced by Charity 
in the soul helps us to understand the perfect harmony 
existing between revealed truth and the noblest aspirations 
of our nature. The fire of Divine Charity is naturally 
accompanied by a Divine light, by means of which God 
manifests Himself in a marvellous manner. I Cor. ii. 13 
16; 2 Cor. iii. 16-18 ; Eph. iii. 14, sqq. 

SECT. 53. Progress of Theological Science. 

T. The possibility, and indeed the necessity, of progress Origin of 
in Theology result in general from the inexhaustible riches ThfoTo^y" 
of revealed truths, the perfectibility of the human mind, 
the wise dispensation of Providence which gradually 
evolved Revelation, and lastly from the necessity of com- 
bating heresy and infidelity. 

II. Progress in Theology necessarily differs from pro- Nature and 

, . rf.1 * /- . Object of 

gress in human sciences. Theology, for instance, can this p ro - 
never desert the standpoint of Faith so as to substitute gr 
for it purely rational principles ; it cannot give up or alter 
anything which has once been defined ; it cannot discover 
any new province except, indeed, in certain auxiliary 
branches of research because its limits have already been 
fixed by the fact that Revelation has been closed. Posi- 
tive progress is possible in three directions only : (i) what is 
uncertain, indefinite, or obscure may be made certain, 
definite, and clear ; (2) erroneous opinions held by some may 
be corrected ; and (3) demonstration and defence may be 
remodelled or improved. Speaking generally, progress is 
made chiefly in the correction of partially held erroneous 

III. Progress in Theology is not as constant and steady i ts cours*. 

152 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK I. 

CHAP. ii. as progress in dogma, because theology depends, much 
SECT'S. more t j ian dogma, on the abilities of individual members 
of the Church. Epochs of profound theological learning 
have been succeeded by epochs of comparative sterility. 
Mathematics, the natural sciences, and history progress 
more steadily than Theology, because they deal with fixed 
formulas and facts. Nevertheless Theology advances more 
steadily than Philosophy, because the fundamental prin- 
ciples of Theology are fixed, and also because the 
assistance of the Holy Ghost, working through the Church, 
preserves it from straying far from the truth, 
its con- IV. In recent times the enemies of Theology, and even 

ditions and r i i r 1 i J 

mean*. some oi its less prudent friends, have tried to give sacred 
science a " liberal " basis. Liberalism in Theology consists 
in questioning its principles either categorically, that is, 
doubting them until natural science has proved them to be 
true (as Hermes did) ; or hypothetically, that is, accepting 
them, but subject to scientific ratification (Gtinther). In 
both cases the principle of the Faith is denied, and progress 
in Theology is rendered as impossible as progress in a philo- 
sophy based on the negation of first principles. The only 
permissible doubt is Methodic Doubt. A Catholic theolo- 
gian may treat of the truths which he firmly -believes, as 
though they were still uncertain, for the purpose of discover- 
ing for his own benefit or for that of unbelievers the grounds 
upon which they are based. A third form of liberalism, less 
serious than the other two, is the rejection of the method 
and principles of the old scholastic theologians. (See 
Syllabus, prop, xiii.) To do this would be an insult to 
reason, to the vital power of the Church and to Divine 
Providence. Besides, no progress is possible except on 
the basis of previously acquired results. On the whole, 
Liberalism is opposed to authority because it looks upon 
authority as an obstacle to progress. It demands un- 
limited freedom in its methods, its principles, and its con- 
clusions. But a comparison of the state of Theology in 
Germany and Spain shows that progress results not from 
licence but from authority. In Spain, in the sixteenth 
century, when the Congregation of the Index ruled 
supreme over theological science, theology attained an 

PART IT.] Faith and Understanding. 153 

unparalleled height of splendour. In Germany, during the CHAP, 
eighteenth century, when " freedom of thought " flourished, BB ^_ 
Theology was in a pitiable state of decay. 

The true conditions of a fruitful progress in Theology 
are: (i) a firm adhesion to the Faith ; (2) the acceptance 
of the progress already made ; (3) a willing submission to 
the authority of the Church ; (4) prudence in the use of 
auxiliary sciences hostile to the Church ; and (5) exactness 
and thoroughness of method. 

See Hist, de la Thfologie Positive, par J. Turmel ; La 
Catholique au XIX e Sitcle, par J. Bellamy. 



THE natural and usual division of the treatise on God is 
founded upon the Unity of the Divine Substance and the 
Trinity of the Divine Persons. While, however, opposing 
the Unity to the Trinity, as is done in the division " Of 
God as One," and " Of God as Three " (De Deo Uno, De 
Deo Trino\ we shall here connect them organically by 
first studying the Existence and Nature of God, then the 
Divine Life, and, lastly, the Divine Internal Activity, 
whereby the One Substance is communicated to the Three 
Divine Persons. 

( 157 > 



THE Fathers treat of God as One when they speak of Literature. 
Creation against pagans and Manichaeans. They enter 
more into detail in their polemical writings on the Trinity 
and Incarnation, especially against the Arians : e.g. St. 
Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunonium ; St. Hilary, 
De Trinitate ; and, above all, St. Augustine, De Trinitate. 
The completest patristic treatise on God as One is that of 
Dionysius the Areopagite (so-called), De Divinis Nominibus t 
with the commentary by St. Maximus the Confessor. The 
best collections of texts from the Fathers on this question 
are those of John of Cyprus, Expositio materiaria eorum qua 
de Deo a theologis dicuntur (Bibl. Patrum, Lugd., torn, xxi.), 
Petavius, Thomassinus, and Frassen, De Deo ; and Theophil. 
Reynaud, Theol. Naturalis. In the Middle Ages St. 
Anselm's Monologium was an epoch-making work. Alex- 
ander of Hales and St. Thomas (/., qq. 2-26) contain 
copious materials. Of the countless modern writers we 
need only name Lessius, De Perfectionibus Moribusque 
Divinis. Among theologians of the present time the best 
treatises are by Staudenmaier, Berlage, Kuhn, Schwetz, 
Kleutgen, Franzelin, Pesch, Billot, and Janssen. 

158 A Manual of Catlwlic Theology. [BOOK U. 


SECT. 54. 

of God 



SECT. 54. Natural Knowledge of God considered generally. 

I. THE Catholic doctrine on man's natural knowledge of 
God was denned by the Vatican Council : " Holy Mother 
Church doth hold and teach that God, the beginning and 
end of all things, can certainly be known from created 
things by the natural light of reason ; ' for the invisible 
things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly 
seen, being understood by the things that are made ' 
(Rom. i. 20). ... If any one shall say that the One true 
God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be certainly known by 
the natural light of human reason from the things that are 
made, let him be anathema " (sess. iii., De Fide Cat/wlica, 
ch. 2 and the corresponding can. ii. i). 

Holy Scripture, upon which the council's definition is 
based, teaches the same doctrine in many passages. 

ROM. i. 

For the wrath of God is revealed 
from Heaven against all ungodliness 
and injustice of those men that detain 
the truth of God in injustice (ver. 18) ; 
(For professing themselves to be wise 
they became fools, and they changed 
the glory of the incorruptible God 
into the likeness of the image of a 
corruptible man, . . . and they liked 
not (eSoKiyuoiroj') to have God in their 
knowledge). (Vers. 22-28.) 

Wisu. xiii. 

But all men are vain (fj.dra.ioi /uf 
yap irdvTes &vQptairoi <f>virei), in whom 
there is not the knowledge of God : 

and who by these good things that 
are seen could not understand Him 
that is (rbi/ uv-ra), neither by attend- 
ing to the works have acknowledged 
who was the Workman : but have 
imagined either the fire, or the wind, 
or the swift air, or the circle of the 
stars, or the great water, or the sun 
and moon to be the gods that rule 
the world (vers. i, i). 

PART l.J Our Knowledge of God. 159 

Because that which is known of God With whose beauty if they being CHAP. i. 
is manifest in them (rb yvoxrr'bv rov delighted, took them to be gods : SECT. 3,4. 
06oO <j>affp6v tffTiv Iv ouToiV). For let them know how much the Lord 
God hath manifested it unto them of them is more beautiful than 
(ver. 19). they ; for the First Author (yeveai- 

dpxris) of beauty made all those things. 

For the invisible things of Him from Or if they admired their power and 
the creation of the world are clearly their effects (Si/W^ic Kal tvtpyfiav), 
seen, being understood by the things let them understand by them that He 
that are made (airb Kriaeuis K&a\j.ov that made them is mightier than they : 
rols irofh/j.affi voovfj.eva KaQoparat) ; His for by the greatness of the beauty and 
eternal power also and divinity (f)rf of the creature, the Creator of them 
dfSios aurou 8ui>a/j.LS Kal OeiJrjjs). may be seen, so as to be known 

thereby (tit yap pfjedovs 
KTicr^droiv uva.\6y<a<> 6 ye 
tturcoj/ Qfcapetrai). (Vers. 3-5.) 

So that they are inexcusable. Be- But then again they are not to be 
cause that when they knew God pardoned ; for if they were able to 
(yvdvTts rbv t6v), they have not know so much as to make a judgment 
glorified Him as God, or given of the world, how did they not more 
thanks, but became vain in their own easily find out the Lord thereof ? 
thoughts, and their foolish heart was (Vers. 8, 9. ) 
darkened (vers. 20, 21). 

And again : " For when the Gentiles who have not the 
law do by nature those things that are of the law, these 
having not the law are a law to themselves ; who show the 
work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience 
bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between them- 
selves accusing or also defending one another " (Rom. ii. 
14-16). Compare also St. Paul's discourses at Lystra and 
at Athens (Acts xiv., xvii.), in which a natural knowledge 
of God is presupposed as a foundation of and a point of 
contact with Faith. 

II. The doctrine of Holy Scripture and the Council may 
be expressed in the following paragraphs : 

1. Man is able and is bound to acquire a true know- Knowledge 
ledge of God by means of his own natural faculties, and obligatory, 
is responsible for ignorance or denial of God's existence, 

and for any consequent neglect of religious or moral 

2. Although it is most difficult for unaided reason to spontaneous, 
attain a perfect knowledge of God, nevertheless some ele- 
mentary knowledge of Him is natural to the human mind ; 

that is to say, a notion of God is acquired spontaneously at 

160 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK TI. 

CHAP. i. the very dawn of reason ; no external help, certainly no 
SKCT.J4. p ro f ounc j philosophical instruction, is needed. The notion 
of God is likewise so much in harmony with the spiritual 
nature of man, that no adverse influences can altogether 
destroy it. This doctrine is not formally expressed by the 
Vatican Council ; but it is contained clearly enough in Holy 
Scripture, and is universally taught by the Fathers and by 
theologians (cf. 2). 

yid rational. 3. This knowledge of God is also natural as proceeding 
from the very nature of human reason, and as being in 
accordance with its laws ; that is to say, this knowledge 
arises, not from some blind instinct, or blind submission to 
authority, but from a most simple process of reasoning. 
Created nature is the medium whereby, as in a mirror, 
God manifests Himself to the eye of our mind. Our 
knowledge of Him, therefore, i? not a direct or immediate 
intuition of Him as He is in Himself, but an inferential 
knowledge of Him as the Cause of created things. The 
Council directly states only that human reason is unable 
to attain to an immediate apprehension of God, and that 
the mediate apprehension by means of created things 
possesses a real, true, and perfect certitude. Hence the 
definition does not formally exclude the possibility of 
some other objective and immediate perception of God, 
not having the character of an intuition of or direct gazing 
upon His Essence. Revelation, however, does not recog- 
nize any such immediate knowledge, and the attempts 
made by theologians to establish its existence are not only 
without foundation, but even tend to endanger the dogma 
of the Divine Invisibility, and the dogma of the independent 
force of the mediate knowledge. 

it* media or 4. Our natural knowledge of God is based upon the 
consideration of the external world, that is, of the things 
apprehended by the senses, and also upon the consideration 
of the spiritual nature of the human soul. The external 
world manifests God chiefly in His Omnipotence and 
Providence ; the life of the soul manifests the inner attri- 
butes of the Divine Life. The material and the spiritual 
world are thus, as it were, two mirrors in which we behold 
the image of the Creator. The materia' mirror is less 


Our Knowledge of God. 161 

perfect than the other, but for that very reason the know- CHAP. i. 
ledge acquired by means of it is easier, more natural, E fl_ 55 ' 
and more popular. Holy Scripture and the Fathers lay 
special stress upon it. , ; 

5. Our natural knowledge of God is aided by the super- Supernatural 

i f i i T> i i manifesta- 

natural manifestations of the Divine power, which can be tionsper- 
perceived by our senses and intellect, the natural means of our natural 
our knowledge. Physical and moral miracles, special and 
general instances of Providence, such as the hearing and 
answering of prayer, the punishment of evil-doers, the re- 
ward of the good, and the like, are instances of what we 
mean. This species of Divine Revelation also serves to 
authenticate the verbal Revelation the medium of Faith, 
and is the continuation of natural Revelation. On the 
other hand, by it alone the existence, and many attributes 
of God, may be known, and therefore it is particularly 
adapted to excite, develop, and complete the knowledge 
founded upon simply natural contemplation. Gf. Franzelin, 
De Deo Uno, thes. viii. 

SECT. 55. The Demonstration of the Existence of God. 

The complete treatment of the proof of the Existence 
of God belongs to Philosophy and Apologetics. 1 We shall 
here confine our attention to some remarks on the nature, 
force, and organic connection of these proofs. 

I. To be or to exist belongs to God's very essence. " God ,, 
The proposition, "God exists," is therefore immediately Jem in itseit 

i ir r 7 \ -KT 11 butnottous. 

evident tn itself (per se nota secundum se). Nevertheless, 
since we have no immediate perception of the Divine 
Essence, this proposition is not immediately evident to us 
(per se nota qtioad nos). To our mind it is a knowledge 
acquired by experience. The manifestations of God are 
immediately perceivable by us, and through these we prove 
the existence of God. 

II. Although the existence of God requires proof, still TWO forms 

^ j C-TT , oftheDe- 

our certitude of His existence is not necessarily the result monstmion 
of a scientific demonstration. A natural demonstration, 
sufficient to generate a perfect certitude, offers itself to 
every human mind, as it were spontaneously. The pro- 

1 See A Dialogue on the Existence of God, by Rev. R. F. Clarke, S.J. 


1 62 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP i. cesses of scientific demonstration, if made use of at all, find 
already in the mind a conviction of God's existence, and 
only serve to confirm and deepen this conviction. 

Division of in. The proofs of the existence of God are of two 

the Proofs. r 

kinds direct and indirect. 

The indirect. r. The indirect proofs show that our knowledge of the 
Divine existence is the necessary result of our rational 
nature, whence they infer that the existence of God is 
as certain as the rationality of our nature. Hence we 
have: (i) the Historical proofs, taken from the universality 
and constancy of this knowledge ; (2) the Moral proof, 
based upon the moral and religious activity resulting from 
it ; and (3) the proof taken from the logical and psycholo- 
gical character of this knowledge, by showing that it can- 
not result from internal or external experience, or from 
artificial combination, and must therefore result from the 
natural tendencies of reason itself. 

and direct. 2 . The direct proofs represent God as the only Sufficient 
Cause of some effect which we perceive. They tend directly 
to prove His existence, and are a development of that 
natural process of human reason which, previous to any 
scientific demonstration, has already convinced us that He 
exists. They are classified according to the nature of the 
effect used as a medium of demonstration. At the same 
time, they form one organic whole, the several parts of 
which complete and perfect each other. They may be 
arranged as follows : 

A. Proofs taken from existing things of which God is 

the Cause : 

(a) From attributes common to all things, and 
pointing to God as the Absolute Being 
(= Metaphysical Proofs) : 

Co) From the dependent and conditional exis- 
tence of things, which requires an indepen- 
dent and absolute Cause (causa efficient) ; 
(/3) From the imperfection, mutability, and 
natural limitation of things, which require 
an immutable and absolutely perfect Cause 
(causa exemplaris] \ 

PART I.] Our Knowledge of God. 163 

(-y) From the motion and development of which CHAP. i. 
things are capable and which they accom- E ^j_ S5> 
plish, supposing thereby an immovable 
Prime Mover and Final Cause (causa 

(U] From attributes proper to certain classes of 
things, and pointing to God as the Absolute 
Spiritual Nature ( = Cosmological Proofs) : 

(a) From the nature and energies of matter, and 
the design in its arrangements, which can 
only be accounted for by the existence 
of an intellectual Being, the Author and 
Disposer of the material universe ; 

(/B) From the nature and energies of mind, which 
suppose a Creator and an Absolute Mind ; 

(y) From the twofold nature of man, in whom 
mind and matter are so intimately blended 
that a higher creative principle must be 
admitted, the Author of both mind and 

B. Proofs taken from possible or ideal things of which 

God is the Principle : 

The possibility, necessity, and immutability in- 
herent in certain conceptions of the possible, the 
unlimited domain of things possible all of these 
suppose the existence of a Being, real, necessary 
and infinite, the foundation and source of all being 
and truth. 

See St. Thorn., /., q. 2, a. 3. 

. JV. It is an article of Faith that the Existence of God Wueoft 
can be known by natural means. From this it follows 
that the proofs which are the natural means must them- 
selves be convincing. It does not, however, imply that 
each of the above-mentioned arguments taken apart has 
the power of convincing. All, or at least some of them, 
taken together are capable of producing the requisite 
certitude. But the evidence of the demonstration is not 
like that of a mathematical proposition. In mathematics, 
especially in geometry, our imagination aids our reason ; 

1 6*. A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. i. no moral considerations oppose the admission of the truths 
to be proved. The proofs of God's existence appeal to our 
reason alone, and compel it to rise above the images of 
our fancy and to accept a truth often most opposed to our 
natural desires. At the same time, the evidence is far more 
than a moral evidence. It produces absolute certainty, and 
imposes itself upon the mind in spite of moral obstacles. 

SECT. 56. Our Conception of the Divine Essence and the 
Divine A ttributes. 

Our know- I- As our natural knowledge of God is mediate and 

notlntu^ve*! indirect, our knowledge of the Divine Essence cannot be 
intuitive that is, resulting from direct intuition ; nor can 
it be even equivalent to intuitive cognition that is, reflect- 
ing the Divine Essence as It is in Itself purely and simply. 
The latter could be the case only if creatures were perfect 
images of the Creator, and also if, in addition, we had 
a perfect knowledge of their essences. Holy Scripture 
tells us that the vision of God, as He is, is promised as the 
reward of the sons of God in Heaven (i John iii. 2) ; and 
describes our present knowledge as a seeing through a 
glass in a dark manner (&' eaoirrpov e'v aiviy/uart) (i Cor. 
xiii. 12). 

yet positive II. An idea or conception of God as He really is, is 
impossible. Nevertheless, our idea of God is not simply 
negative and relative, showing merely what He is not and 
in what relations He stands to other beings. It is true, 
indeed, that the first element of our notion of Him is that 
He has none of the imperfections of finite things, and 
that He possesses the power to produce the perfections of 
creatures ; yet, as these perfections are a reflection of Hfs 
perfections, we are enabled to gather from them notions or 
conceptions of God, imperfect and indirect indeed, but 
still, at the same time, positive and truly representing the 
perfections belonging to the Divine Essence. 

and ana- HI. The perfections found in nature are but faint 


reproductions of the perfections of the Creator. Hence 
our natural conceptions, before they can be applied to the 
Divine Substance, must be purified of all imperfections, 
and must be enlarged and elevated so as to be made 

PART I.] Our Knowledge of God. 165 

worthy of God (GeoTrptTrac). This " eminent sense," as it CHAP. i. 
is called, is expressed in the language of Holy Scripture E s ' 
and the Church in three ways: (i) The simplicity and "eminent 
substantiality of the Divine perfections are indicated by the se 

1 Three ways 

use of abstract terms, e.g. by calling God not only good ofexpress- 

ing it. 

and wise, but also Goodness itself and Wisdom (avrayaOo- 
TTJC, avToaofpta). (2) The infinite fulness of His perfections 
is expressed by adjectives with the prefix " all," e.g. 
almighty, all-wise. (3) The intensity and super-eminent 
excellence of these perfections is pointed out by the prefix 
virip, super, which may be expressed in English by the 
adverb " supremely," e.g. supremely wise. 

IV. The analogical value or the eminent signification is pu-^and 
not the same in all conceptions. Some of the perfections ofpkcd*u 
creatures can be conceived as divested of all imperfection, 
*.g. the transcendental attributes of unity, truth, goodness, 
force, and the attributes which go to make spiritual crea- 
tures the images of God. When these notions are applied 
to God they remain analogical indeed, but still they are 
used in a positive and proper sense, as opposed to a meta- 
phorical, improper, or symbolical sense. But some natural 
perfections cannot be conceived without some imperfection 
adhering to them ; they cannot therefore be predicated of 
God except in a symbolical and metaphorical sense, e.g. 
God is a lion, a rock, a fire, God is angry. Such meta- 
phors, however, have a deeper meaning than ordinary 
metaphors, because they are founded upon the fact that 
the First Cause is reflected in every perfection of the 
creature. Perfections of the first kind are called "pure, 
and simple, and unadulterated perfections" (perfectiones 
simplices] ; the latter are called " mixed perfections " that 
is, perfections combined with imperfection. The Greek 
Fathers designate the two classes and our corresponding 
knowledge of God by the expressions, Ka-T}yo l o////ara TI Aem 
or cnroStiKTiKa, OtoXoyia auroStiKTiKi) for the first class, and 
Karr)-yop)'/ju ara aTroppTjra, or fjivariKa and Oto\oyia crv/ufioXiKT] 
for the second. The two classes complete each other ; the 
simple attributes enabling us to understand what is obscure 
and undetermined in the mixed attributes, and the latter 
giving a concreteness to the first. 

166 A Manual of Catholic Fkeology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. i. IV. Theologians distinguish three ways of arriving at 
correct notions of God by means of the analogical con- 

3 fgettbg ys ceptions gathered from natural perfections. The first is 

nmionsof the Positive method, or the method of Causality (causa 
e.vemplaris), by which we consider the created perfection as 
an image and likeness of the corresponding Divine per- 
fection. The second is the method of Negation, or removal 
(negationis sen remotionis], whereby we deny that certain 
perfections exist in God in the same manner as in creatures, 
viz., mixed with imperfection. The third is the method of 
Eminence (vioff viripo\i]v), which is a combination of the 
two preceding methods, and consists in conceiving the 
Divine perfections as of the most exalted character, and 
as having in themselves in a supreme degree whatever is 
perfect in creatures, without any admixture of imperfec- 
tion. Hence there are three ways of predicating of God 
the perfections found in creatures. We can say : God is 
a spirit, God lives, God is rational ; meaning that these 
perfections really exist in God. We can also say: God 
is not a spirit, is not living, is not rational ; meaning that 
these perfections do not exist in God as they exist in 
creatures. To reconcile this seeming contradiction, the 
perfections should be predicated of God in the eminent 
sense : God is superspiritual, superrational. This doctrine 
is often expressed by the Fathers by saying that God is 
at the same time Travwvu/uoc, avwvuyuo?, vTrtp^vvfjiog (all- 
names, nameless, above all names). 

These three methods may be aptly compared with the 
methods of the three principal fine arts. The painter pro- 
duces a picture by transferring colours to the canvas ; the 
sculptor executes a statue by chipping away portions of 
a block of marble ; while the poet strives to realize his 
ideal by the aid of metaphor and hyperbole. 

Corollary. The indirect and analogical character of our knowledge 

of God renders us unable to embrace in one idea all the 
perfections of the Divine Substance, or even the little 
that we can naturally know of them. We are obliged to 
combine several particular conceptions into one relatively 
complete representation. But the subject will be considered 
in the chapter on the unity and attributes of God. 

l.J Our Knowledge of God. 167 

V. The names which we give to things are the ex- CHAP. L 
pression of our conceptions of those things. Hence what - 

, . , . ,. c r^ J T Proper and 

has been said concerning our conceptions of God applies analogical 
to the names by which we designate them. Negative God. 6 
names exclude all idea of imperfection and represent God 
as a Being sni generis which can alone be properly pre- 
dicated of Him. All positive names transferred from the 
creature to the Creator are more or less improper names 
of Him, because they are not predicated of Creator and 
creature in exactly the same sense. Still, not being pre- 
dicated of God in quite a different sense, they are not 
simply improper but analogical names. The most perfect 
among them are the names of pure or spiritual perfections, 
because they express perfections formally contained in Him. 
Although they are predicated of Him by way of eminence, 
still they belong to Him more than to creatures, because 
the perfections they express exist in God with more purity, 
fulness, reality, and truth than in creatures. For this 
reason they are sometimes attributed to Him exclusively: 
" Who alone is," " One only is good, God." The names 
of mixed perfections, especially specific names of material 
things can only be given to God in a metaphorical or 
symbolical sense. 

VI. From what has been said it follows that the Divine Our know. 
Essence can neither be conceived or expressed by us as tive and 
it really is in itself, but still that some conception and some "" 
expression of it are not beyond the power of our natural 
faculties an absolute knowledge is impossible, a relative 

and imperfect knowledge is within our reach. 

The doctrine contained in this section is beautifully 
expressed by St. Gregory of Nazianzum, in his " Hymn to 

" In Thee all things do dwell, and tend 
To Thee Who art their only End ; 
Thou art at once One, All, and None, 
And yet Thou art not all or one. 
All-name ! by what name can I call 
Thee, Nameless One, alone of all ? " * 

I Sol tvt na.vTa. /ueyci, <rol 8' adpoa itdvra floa'e, 
2u irdv-ruv Tf\os tffffi, Kal els xal -itimo. Kal ou'Sf'c. 
Ot/x' %v ttav, 06 iravra. Ha.vuvvp.1, Traii fff Ku\taav 

1 68 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 


SECT. 57- SECT. 57. Contents and Limits of our Natural Knoivledge 

of God. 

Contents. I. Our natural knowledge of God embraces all those 

cuse S f the Divine attributes without which God cannot be conceived 
as the First and Supreme Cause of the visible universe. 
This doctrine is set forth by the Apostle when he teaches 
that " the invisible things of God " are knowable in so far 
as they are reflected in things visible in nature, the Divine 
Nature (0aorr)e) being especially mentioned. 

j. mits . II. The Trinity of the Divine Persons that is, the 

fnTiude ' manner in which the Divine Nature subsists in Itself and 
Trinity communicates Itself to several Persons lies absolutely be- 
yond the sphere of human knowledge ; our reason cannot 
discover it, or even prove it on natural grounds after its 
existence has been revealed. This is taught by Holy 
Scripture in the general passages concerning the inscru- 
tableness of the mysteries revealed to us by God. These 
expressions refer, not merely to His inscrutable counsels, 
but also to the inscrutable depths of His Being. "The 
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 
For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the 
spirit of a man that is in him ? So the things also that 
are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God " 
(i Cor. ii. 10, 1 1). " No one knoweth the Son but the Father, 
neither doth any one know the Father but the Son, and he 
to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him " (Matt. xi. 
27 ; cf. John i. 18). The same can be demonstrated from 
the dogmatic conception of the Trinity compared with the 
sole medium of our natural knowledge of God. The Divine 
Persons operate externally as one single principle (imum 
universorum principium, Fourth Lateran Council). Now, 
from the effects we can know only so much of the cause 
as actually concurs in the production of the effects ; where- 
fore from God's works we can infer nothing concerning the 
Trinity of Persons. 

why the The indemonstrability of the Blessed Trinity largely 

npTbV ' ' contributes to the incomprehensibility of the mystery. 

by S rI^on. Whatever cannot be arrived at by reason is difficult of 

mental representation. Conversely, the incomprehensi- 

PART L] Our Knowledge of God. 169 

bility of the Trinity, that is, the impossibility of forming CHAP. i. 
a conception of it in harmony with natural things is a *^J B - 
further reason of its indemonstrability. Both the indemon- 
strability and the incomprehensibility originate from the 
fact that the Trinity is God as He is and lives within 
Himself, apart from and above the manifestations of Him 
in nature. Hence it is that no process of mere reasoning 
can lead to a knowledge of God as He is. Faith gives us 
an obscure knowledge of Him : the Beatific Vision will 
disclose Him to us. See St. Thorn. /., q. 32, a. i. 

Our supernatural knowledge of God differs essentially 
from natural knowledge, although the nature of the con- 
ceptions is the same in both. Faith fixes the mind on itb 
object, and enables it to free its conceptions from the 
disfiguring elements which an unguided imagination might 
introduce. The light of Faith illuminates the Divine mani- 
festations in nature, and better adapts our conceptions to 
the dignity of God. The moral and spiritual life, which 
is one of the fruits of Faith, elevates the mind above mere 
animal nature, perfects the image and likeness of God, and 
so produces a more faithful mirror of the Divine perfections. 
Holy Scripture tells us of many Divine operations in nature 
which would have escaped the eye of our mind, and it also 
reveals many supernatural works of God which place the 
Divine perfections in a brighter light. Lastly, the mani- 
festation of God in the Incarnation has given us the most 
perfect manifestation of the Deity, and the best adapted to 
our capacities. 

SECT. 58. Revealed Names of Goa. 

I. Divine Revelation gives a progressive development The P rojjr<-s 
of the idea of God, even if we abstract from the final revela- knowledge^ 
tion of the mystery of the Trinity. Nothing new was 
revealed to the Patriarchs concerning the Divine Nature 
and attributes ; their knowledge was the same as natural 
knowledge and as that handed down by tradition. The 
object of the Mosaic Revelation was to preserve in its 
purity the idea of one God against the corruptions of 

170 A Mamial of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. L idolatry and polytheism. It proclaimed God's exalted 
sterns . p Qwer Qver a jj things finite and material, and His absolute 

dominion over mankind ; it revealed the essential charac- 
teristic of God in the name Jehovah. The Prophets point 
out and describe in magnificent language the Divine attri- 
butes which can be known by the light of reason ; especially 
unity, eternity, unchangeableness, infinite greatness, creative 
omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, wisdom, goodness, 
justice, and holiness. But all these attributes are spoken of 
simply to bring out the infinite Majesty of God, and not 
in order to reveal anything further concerning His Essence. 
This latter aspect is first opened up in the Sapiential books 
(Prov. viii., Wisd. vii., Ecclus. xxiv.), where, under the name 
of the Eternal Wisdom, the inner life of the Deity is ex- 
hibited in its internal and external communication, and the 
theology of the New Testament is thereby anticipated. 
The object and tendency of Christian Revelation is to raise 
man to a most intimate union with God, his Father, and 
consequently it manifests the inner perfection of the Divine 
Life of which man becomes a partaker. It presupposes the 
Old Testament Revelation without making any further 
disclosures concerning the Divine Nature ; but, as it tells 
us of the mystery of the Trinity, it enables us to gain some 
insight into the Divine internal fecundity, and to conceive 
the Divine Nature as the purest spirituality as the Light, 
the Life, the Truth, the Love, and so as the principle 
and ideal of the supernatural perfection to which we should 

The Seven II. The names applied to God are either substantives 

NameZ" or adjectives. In the present section we shall confine our- 

selves to the former. There are seven substantives applied 

to God in the Old Testament. These " Holy Names " 

may be divided into three classes. 

I. The first class comprises the names which desig- 
nate the supreme excellence of God rather than His 
Essence : 'PN, DTrfrx, ^'n^. 

EI. *?N, El, the Mighty, is often used with appositions, such 

as ^ b$, iravroKpardtp, omnipotens, almighty ; DNnfpx bx, God 
of Gods. The name EL, even without apposition, is seldom 
used of false gods. 

PART ij Oiir Knowledge of God. 171 

D'n"6$ Elohim, plural of Eloah, the Arabic Allah, the CHAP. L 
Powerful, with the correlative significations of Awe-inspir- 
ing, Worthy of adoration. This name is given ironically 
to false gods, and in a true but weak, inferior sense to beings 
inferior to God as reflections of His Majesty, e.g. angels, 
kings, judges. When applied to the one, true God, Elohim 
must be taken as the majestic plural rather than as an 
indication of the Trinity. Appositions are sometimes used 
to define the sense, e.g. Elohim Zebaoth, the God of hosts, 
that is, the hosts or armies of angels, of the stars, or of 
men ; sometimes it means the God of all creatures. 

V 1 " 1 ^, Adonai, Kvpioz, Seo-Trorijt, Dominus, Judge, Com- Adonat 
mander, Lord pre-eminently. This name combines the 
meanings of El and Elohim, because God, the Supreme 
Lord, not only inspires fear on account of His physical 
might, but also exacts reverence and submission as a moral 
power. Adonai is used without apposition as a proper 
name of God. Other beings can indeed be judges and 
commanders, but they are so only inasmuch as they 
represent God, and not in the eminent sense indicated by 
the plural of majesty. It is never used of the false divinities 
of the heathen, because the idea of supreme moral power 
and sovereignty was not associated with them. 

2. The second class contains only one name, essentially jehovai. 
a proper name, because it describes the Divine Essence. It 
is nin?, Jehovah (Exod. iii. 14-16), " I am Who am." The 
correct pronunciation is probably Yahweh, whence the abbre- 
viation iT, Yah. Its meaning is that God is the One Who 
is, purely and simply ; Whose Being is dependent on no 
external cause, Who therefore can neither be limited nor 
changed by anything, and Who, by reason of this mode of 
existence, is distinguished from all other beings, real or 
possible, especially from all pretended divinities, and also 
from powerful, ruling, or unearthly beings, which might 
possibly be designated by the other Divine names. Hence 
it is, in the strictest sense of the word, a proper name, such 
as Moses asked for in order to make known to the people 
the characteristic name of the God, Elohim, of their fathers. 
It is moreover a name of alliance, as being intimately con- 
nected with the covenant between God and Israel ; the 

172 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. i. knowledge of the true God as revealed in the name Jehovah 
SECIES. was t j ie pi e( jg ej the m edium, and the proof of the alliance. 
As the name Jehovah was in use before the time of Moses, 
the question arises as to the sense in which God said to 
Moses (Exod. vi. 3) that he appeared to Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob by the name of God Almighty, El Schadai, and 
did not reveal to them His name Jehovah. The best solu- 
tion of the difficulty is, perhaps, that Jehovah was His most 
appropriate name, and that it was, as a matter of fact, 
adopted by Him to serve as a symbol and watchword of 
the public worship of the one God, whereas El Schadai 
expresses more accurately the relation of God to the fami- 
lies of the Patriarchs as their powerful protector. 

3. The third class embraces those names akin to the 
first class, but expressing with more force the sublime 
excellence of the true God. In their substantive form they 
are, however, applied to false divinities. 

^'n, HascJiadai from schadad, to overpower (?) the 
Strong, Mighty, akin in meaning to El, but designating 
with more energy the independence, self-sufficiency, and 
inviolability of the Power, and therefore it is equivalent to 
" the Almighty." 

H^yn, Haelion, Altissiimis, the High, Sublime, the Most 
High, akin to Elohim. 

WTiftri, Hakadosch, the Holy, found chiefly in the Pro- 
phets and among these especially in Isaias : the Holy One 
of Israel, the Holy Lord, Judge and Lawgiver of the chosen 
people. Akin to Adonai. 

In the New Testament these names are replaced by 
their Greek or Latin equivalents, e.g. 6 Kvpiog, 6 o>v, o 
'ii\pi(rroQ, etc. The most frequent name applied to God is 
the classical word 9 toe, Deus. 

SECT. 59. The Doctrine concerning God as defined by the 
Church, especially in the Vatican Council. 

Just as the New Testament takes over from the Old 
Testament the doctrine concerning the Divine Essence 
and Nature, and only occasionally insists upon this doctrine, 
so has the Church from her very infancy looked upon it as 

PART I.] Our Knowledge of God. 173 

sufficiently proposed and as universally admitted. Hence CHAP. i. 
it is that, notwithstanding the importance and the fecundity 
of the dogma of the Divine Essence and Nature, it is the 
subject of so few definitions. It was only in our own day, 
when the most grievous errors concerning God had spread 
even among Christians, that the Church at length issued a 
formal definition in the Vatican Council (sess. iii., chap. i). 
"The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church believeth Text of the 

* ' Vatican 

and confesseth that there is one true and living God, the definition. 
Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, Almighty, Eternal, 
Immense, Incomprehensible, Infinite in intellect and will 
and in all perfection ; Who, being one, individual, altogether 
simple and unchangeable Substance, must be asserted to 
be really and essentially distinct from the world, most 
happy in Himself and of Himself, and ineffably exalted 
above everything that exists or can be conceived. 

" This one true God, of His own goodness and of His 
almighty power, not to increase His happiness, nor to 
acquire but rather to manifest His perfection by means of 
the good things which He bestoweth upon creatures, most 
freely in the very beginning of time made out of nothing 
both kinds of creatures, to wit, angelic and mundane, and 
afterwards human nature, participating of both because 
composed of spirit and body. 

" But God, Who reacheth from end to end mightily and 
ordereth all things sweetly (Wisd. viii. i), protecteth and 
ruleth by His providence all the things that He hath made. 
For all things are naked and open to His eyes (Heb. iv. 
13), even those things which will come to pass by the free 
agency of creatures." 

The corresponding canons are the following : 

" i. If any one shall deny the one true God, the Creator 
and Lord of things visible and invisible, let him be ana- 

" 2. If any one shall not be ashamed to say that besides 
matter nothing doth exist, let him be anathema. 

"3. If any one shall say that the substance or. essence 
of God and of all things is one and the same, let him be 

"4. If any one shall say that finite things, whether 

174 d. Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. i. spiritual or corporeal, or at least spiritual things, have 
SE ^_S&. emanated from the Divine Substance ; 

" Or that the Divine Essence by the manifestation or 
evolution of Itself becometh all things ; 

" Or, finally, that God is the universal or indefinite 
being which by self-determination doth constitute the 
universe of things distinguished into genera, species, and 
individuals, let him be anathema. 

" 5. If any one shall not confess that the world and all 
things contained therein, both spiritual and material, have 
been as to their entire substance produced out of nothing 
by God ; 

" Or shall say that God created not by will free from 
all necessity, but necessarily, just as He necessarily loveth 

" Or shall deny that the world was made for the glory 
of God, let him be anathema." 1 

The definition of the Council is directed (i) against 
Atheism, and especially against Materialism ; (2) against 
Pantheism ; (3) against certain modern opinions mentioned 
in detail in can. 5. The Council develops the idea of God 
positively through the attributes which manifest His abso- 
lute greatness as Supreme Being, and then defines His 
absolute independence of and entire distinction from all 
other beings. Lastly, the Council firmly establishes His 
absolute dominion over the universe. 

1 Compare with this decree the magnificent description of God given by 
Cardinal Newman (Idea of a University, p. 36) : " God is an individual, self- 
dependent, all-perfect, unchangeable Being ; intelligent, living, personal and 
present ; almighty, all-seeing, all-remembering ; between Whom and His 
creatures there is an infinite gulf; Who had no origin ; Who passed an 
eternity by Himself; Who created and upholds the universe ; Who will judge 
every one of us at the end of time, according to that law of right and wrong 
which He has written on our hearts. He is One Who is sovereign over, 
operative amidst, and independent of, the appointments which He has made ; 
One in Whose hands are all things, Who has a purpose in every event, and 
a standard for every deed, and thus has relations of His own towards the 
subject-matter of each particular science which the book of knowledge un- 
folds ; Who has, with an adorable, never-ceasing energy mixed Himself up 
with all the history of creation, the constitution of nature, the course of the 
world, the origin of society, the fortunes of nations, the action of the human 

( 175 ) 



SECT. 60. Fundamental Conception of God's Essence and 


WE have now to inquire whether, among our concep- CHAP. TI 
tions of God, there is some one which may be considered E 
as the foundation of all the others. 

I. A direct and intuitive representation of the Divine Terms 


Substance as It is in Itself, is manifestly impossible. Our 
knowledge of God is restricted to His attributes which 
we see reflected in creatures, and which we refer to the 
Divine Substance ; but the Substance itself we have no 
power to apprehend. Whatever God is or has in Himself, 
He is or has of Himself without external cause, and it is all 
one and the same with His Substance. There are, how- 
ever, certain elements in our conception of God which, 
when compared with the others, may be considered as 
fundamental and as the root from which the latter spring. 
The fundamental conception of a substance may be formed 
either from the consideration of its being, or from the 
consideration of its activity, notably its vital activity. In 
the former case, the substance is termed "essence," to 
signify what it really is ; in the latter case, it is called 
"nature" that is, the source or principle of activity. The 
nature of a thing is sometimes styled its " physical essence," 
an expression also used to signify all that belongs essen- 
tially to a substance. The essence itself, considered as the 
root of the essential properties, is called the " metaphysical 

176 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. ii. essence." Among modern theologians the question of the 

- fundamental conception of God is spoken of as the question 

concerning the metaphysical essence of God, or the essence 

which distinguishes Him from all other beings, and accounts 

for all His essential properties. 

The Divine II. When we wish to distinguish God from all other 


beings we think of Him as a substance existing of itself 
a substance which owes its existence to no external prin- 
ciple, but possesses existence essentially and absolutely. 
In other words : Aseity (aseitas, avrovata) is the first dis- 
tinguishing attribute which we conceive of the Divine 
Substance, and from which we infer the other Divine 
attributes. " I_am_Who am : " that is to say, " I am of My- 
self and absolutely, in contradistinction to all other beings 
which have a derivative and precarious existence." Aseity 
excludes not only all external principles, but also the 
notion that God is constantly giving Himself existence 
(" das absolute Werden " or the " Selbstverwirklichung," 
Self-realization, of Giinther). God cannot produce Him- 
self any more than any other being can. When He is 
said to be His own cause, or Self-caused, this only means 
that He does not require or admit of any cause. 
God's III. There is a still deeper and more exhaustive concep- 

iSsunc-e! tion of the Divine Substance contained in the expressions, 
" God is His own existence ; " " God's essence is exist- 
ence ; " " God is Being ; " 6 &v, He Who is, Jehovah. The 
Schoolmen express this by saying, " God is a pure act 
(actus purus) ; " that is, pure actuality without any admix- 
ture of potentiality. Every perfection possible in any 
being is actually possessed by God, and is only possible 
in others because it actually exists in Him. The name 
Jehovah, understood in this sense, is really the essential 
name of God. This Divine Actuality is the foundation 
of God's Simplicity and Infinity. His Simplicity consists 
in the identity of possibility and reality, and His Infinity 
means that every possible perfection is actually possessed 
by Him. 

We must bear in mind throughout that the conceptions 
of essence and substance as applied to God are only analo- 
gous, because the essences which we know are not identical 

PART I.] The Essence and Attributes of God. 177 

with existence. Hence the expressions : " God is auro- CHAP. n. 
oucnoc, uTTEjooua-toe, and avovaioc," that is, God is His own 1 *' 
Essence, is above all essences, and is without essence. 

IV. Just as the Divine Substance exists of Itself, so The Divine 
does It act of Itself. It is the sole, adequate principle Nature> 
of Its whole Life ; It cannot be conceived as animated or 
vivified, but must be considered as Absolute Life. The 
Divine Substance is Its own Life, Life pure and simple, 
Life in its absolute fulness and perfection. Moreover, the 
Divine Nature must be conceived as absolutely and in 
the highest degree Spiritual. When we speak of created 
nature, we distinguish the life-giving principle from the life- 
less matter. We term the former " Spirit " when we consider 
it, not so much as animating matter, but as active and 
self-subsistent. Hence immaterial and intellectual sub- 
stances are said to have a spiritual nature and to be spirits. 
Much more, then, is the Divine Life, which is absolutely 
independent and immanent, a spiritual Life. 

The above description contains the generic difference 
between the Divine Nature and created nature viz. the 
manner in which God possesses His Life ; and also con- 
tains the fundamental characters which make the Divine 
Life most eminent and sublime viz. the absolute imma- 
teriality and consequent intellectuality of the Divine Sub- 
stance. When we designate the Divine Nature as a spirit 
(John iv. 24), we express Its immateriality and intellec- 
tuality, the former being the source of the latter. The 
word " Spirit," in its eminent signification, is applicable 
to God's exalted nature purely and simply, because God is 
not only the uncreated and highest possessor of a spiritual 
nature, but also the noblest form of spiritual nature. 

SECT. 6 1. TJie Perfection of the Divine Being. 

I. A being is perfect when it possesses all the qualities Notion of 
of which it is capable, or which are suitable and due to it. ^ 
Created beings do not receive their perfection with their 
substance ; they acquire it by exerting their own internal 
energy, or by means of external agents. They thus attain 
their end, rlXoc, which is the completeness of their being, 
or perfection, TtAaorrje- The perfection of created beings 


1 78 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. n. is always relative ; that is to say, it can never embrace more 
SECT^I. than the good qualities due to a particular class of things, 
nor can it reach such a high degree that there is not some 
higher degree possible. 

Godabso- II. Just as God is an absolute Being that is, without 

infect. any origin or beginning, independent, necessary, essen- 
tially existing so is He also absolutely all that He can or 
ought to be by His Nature. He is essentially perfect (ai/ro- 
Tt'Arje) ; He is self-sufficient for His perfection (awrajoioje)', 
He possesses in His Substance, without any internal evolu- 
tion or external influence, entire perfection. 

God con- III. God's perfection is absolute, not only in the sense 

{^"fwftloZ that whatever constitutes Divine perfection belongs essen- 
tially to Him, but also because His perfection embraces 
every existing or conceivable -perfection (TravrfXrj'e). He is 
the perfect principle of all things, and must therefore be, 
not only self-sufficient, but also capable of bestowing their 
perfections on all things, and must possess in Himself 
every kind of perfection. This existence of all perfections 
in God, this fulness of being, implies more than the pos- 
session of creative power and ideal knowledge. It implies 
that He possesses in His own perfection, which is the source 
and exemplar of all created perfection, a real and complete 
equivalent of this perfection. This equivalent is the fund 
from which He draws His universal power and universal 
knowledge. Cf. Exod. xxxiii. 14 ; TO irav lortv auroc, 
Ecclus. xliii. 29 ; Acts xvii. 25 ; Rom. xi. 36, etc. 

The manner in which the particular perfections of created 
things exist in the universal perfection of God is expressed 
in the language of the Schoolmen by the terms " Virtually" 
and " Eminently." Created things are not contained in 
God materially, and do not flow from Him as water from 
a spring, but are produced by His power (virtus} ; and, 
besides, He possesses in Himself a perfect equivalent of 
their perfections, which is their type or model. Again, 
God does not contain the perfections of His creatures 
exactly as they exist outside Him. He contains them in 
their purity, free from all admixture of imperfection ; He 
contains them in a perfection of a higher character as, for 
instance, the sense of vision is included in the higher power 

PART I.] TJie Essence and Attributes of God. 179 

of understanding. The manifold perfections of creatures CHAP. n. 
are consequently concentrated in one Divine Perfection, E f^ 2- 
which is not, indeed, a combination of them all, but contains 
and surpasses them all by reason of its richness and value. 

IV. The Divine perfection alone is essential and uni- God . 


versal, and is the acme of all perfection (vTrsprlXrig, auro TO perfection. 
rt'Aoc). There does not exist, nor can we conceive, anything 
above God by means of which God's perfection can be 
measured or defined. His perfection is the principle, and 
hence the measure and object, of all other perfections, 
which are indeed perfections only in as far as they re- 
semble and participate in the Divine perfection. Moreover, 
it can never be exhausted or equalled by created per- 
fections ; hence it is incomparable and all-surpassing. Cf. 
Ps. xxxiv. 10 ; Isai. xliv. 7, and xl. 15-17. 

SECT. 62. Our Conception of the Divine Attributes 

I. All the Divine attributes which designate something 
necessarily contained in God, designate the Divine Sub- 
stance Itself, and not something distinct from It, inhering 
in it after the manner of an accident. This principle 
applies to the attributes of Unity, Truth, Beauty ; and 
also to the Divine essential Activity such as Self-con- 
sciousness and Self-love ; because all of these necessarily 
belong to the integrity of the Divine Essence and Nature. 
It is also true of the Divine intellectual and volitional acts 
concerning contingent things ; for although these acts are 
not essential to God, still they are not accidents of His 
Substance, but are the Divine Substance Itself as related 
to contingent objects. But the principle is true only to 
a certain extent in the case of attributes which express 
Divine external action that is, active influence on creatures ; 
because the power and will to act are in God, whereas 
the action itself (actio transiens], and still more its effect, 
are external to Him. Lastly, this principle cannot be 
applied to attributes expressing a relation between creatures 
and God such as Creator, Redeemer, Revvarder ; because 
these relations are not in God but outside Him. They 
need not belong to Him from all eternity, as may also be 

180 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IL 

CHAP. IL said of attributes designating Divine external actions, 
2 ' because their basis is not eternal. Essential attributes, on 
the contrary, and also attributes expressing something in 
God, even if not essential, belong to Him from all eternity. 
All this is the common teaching of the Fathers and theolo- 
gians, and is based upon the dogmas of the Simplicity and 
Unchangeableness of God (cf. infra, 63, 65). 

?f ! the cti n II- It * s evident that attributes expressing external 

attributes, relations of God to His creatures, such as Creator, Re- 
deemer, Rewarder, are not identical with each other, but 
are separate rays emanating from a common centre. 
Again, the attributes designating the Divine Substance 
are not necessarily identical with each other. Although 
all of them express the same Divine Object, nevertheless 
each of them corresponds with a particular conception of 
our mind, arrived at in different ways and from different 
starting-points. They are not, therefore, identical subjec- 
tively. They also differ objectively that is, as regards 
what they represent. None of the attributes represent the 
Divine Substance as such and in its totality, but only under 
some particular aspect, and such aspects are manifold, even 
in finite things. 

ciassifica- III. There are various ways of classifying the Divine 

attributes. The arrangement which we propose to follow 
is based upon the fact that God is a being, and a living, 
spiritual being. A created being has composition of some 
sort ; it has limits, and it is subject to change. It forms 
part of the universe ; it exists in space and in time. It can 
be seen by bodily or mental eye ; it can be grasped by a 
finite mind, and can be expressed in language. All of 
these qualities imply some sort of imperfection ; hence, 
none of them can belong to God. Their contradictories 
must be predicated of Him, and these are styled His Nega- 
tive attributes. Again, every created being is in itself one, 
true, good, and beautiful, and externally it has power and is 
present to other beings. These attributes, although imper- 
fect in creatures, do not themselves imply imperfection. 
Hence they may be predicated of God as Positive attributes. 
Lastly, God, being a spirit, must have the two faculties of 
a spirit intelligence and will. 

l.] The Essence and Attributes of God. 181 
The following table will make this arrangement CHAP, n 

SECT. 6a. 

clear : 

A. Attributes belonging to God ar> a Being : 
(a) Negative attributes : 
Simplicity ; 
Infinity ; 
Inconfusibility ; 



Immensity ; 
Invisibility ; 
Incomprehensibility ; 


(li) Positive attributes : 
(a) Internal : 

(1) Unity ; 

(2) Truth; 

(3) Goodness ; 

(4) Beauty. 
Cj3) External: 

(1) Omnipotence; 

(2) Omnipresence. 

P. Attributes belonging to God as a living, spiritual 
Being : 

(a) Intelligence ; 

(b) WilU 

1 8 2 A Manual c/ Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 


SECT. 63. The Simplicity of God. 

CHAP, in T. THE physical Simplicity, or, in other words, the im- 
E fll 3 materiality and incorporeity, of God is included in His 

Simplicity, absolute Simplicity, and may be proved by the same argu- 
ments. It may be also demonstrated by special proofs ; 
and there are certain special difficulties to which it gives 
rise, and which demand solution. 

Scripture. I- The Divine immateriality, or spirituality, is practically 

set forth in the Old Testament by the prohibition of 
material representations of God (Deut. iv. 16). Our Lord 
Himself says : " God is a Spirit, and they that adore Him 
must adore Him in spirit and in truth" (John iv. 24). 
Wherever Scripture speaks of God as invisible, infinite, 
immutable, omnipresent, and the rest, His immateriality 
is evidently implied. And from the earliest days of the 
Church this attribute was laid down as a fundamental 
dogma against the pagans, as may be seen in the writ- 
ings of the Apologists. Tertullian and Lactantius indeed 
ascribed to God a body, or spoke of His form and figure ; 
but they did so in opposition to the Gnostics, or to the 
pantheism of the Stoics, who maintained that the Divine 
Substance was indefinite, vague, empty, and formless, like 
the air, and thus perverted the true notion of spirituality. 

Proofs from 2. The proofs from reason for the Divine Simplicity are 
most conclusive, but they need not be dwelt on here. The 
first active principle of all things cannot be itself capable 
of resolution into simpler elements, because the latter 
ought to be anterior to it in time or at least in nature, and 


PAET I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 183 

moreover would require an external cause to bring them CHAP. in. 
together. Again, the attributes of pure actuality, infinity, E - 6 ' 
omnipresence, and the rest, which flow from the nature of 
the first principle, are all incompatible with physical com- 

II. The attribute of metaphysical Simplicity excludes M <% 


from God every kind of composition, and consequently simplicity, 
every difference between potentiality and actuality, or 
between realities completing each other. Hence this attri- 
bute requires that God should not only possess all that 
is perfect, but that He should also be His perfection, and 
that all that is real in Him should be one indivisible 
reality: "One Supreme Thing" (Fourth Lateran Council, 
Cap. Damnamus). Conversely, if God is one indivisible 
reality, it follows that no composition exists in Him. 
Even before the Fourth Lateran Council, this doctrine 
was defined more in detail by Eugenius III. in the Council 
of Rheims against Gilbert. 

1. Holy Scripture teaches the absolute simplicity of scripture. 
God when it says that God is the Life, Truth, Wisdom, 
Light, Love, not that He has these qualities. There is no 
reason for not taking these expressions in their literal 
sense ; on the contrary, the literal sense is required by the 
peculiar nature of God. Besides, Scripture uses them to 
point out that God is the sole original possessor of these 
perfections. It could not say with truth that "God is 
Light, and in Him there is no darkness," if He were not 
Light in its greatest purity and perfection that is, if the 
perfections connoted by the term " Light " were not all one 

and the same identical perfection, as indeed is expressed 
by the very name Jehovah. 

2. Internal reasons for the Divine Simplicity were also Tradition, 
given by the Fathers. Without absolute Simplicity, they 

say, God could neither be absolutely infinite nor absolutely 
immutable. And again, Simplicity is in itself a great 
perfection, because it connotes the excellence of the per- 
fection of which it is predicated, and the completeness and 
thoroughness of the manner in which it is possessed. 
Aseity and absolute necessity can only belong to a Being 
absolutely simple, because the several parts of a composite 

184 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CH^r. in. being would be dependent on each other. God being 
E fll 3 ' absolutely independent and self-sufficient, we cannot con- 
ceive Him as a subject perfected and completed by any- 
thing whatsoever. See these arguments developed by St. 
Anselm, Monolog., cc. xvi., xvii. ; St. Thomas, /., q. 3, a. 7 ; 
Scotus in I. Sent. d. 8 ; St. Bernard, De. Consid., \. v., c. 7. 
Composi- III. We subjoin a list of the kinds of composition 

excluded excluded by the metaphysical Simplicity of God, but which 

from God. i " , , 

are found even in spiritual creatures. 

1. Composition of essence and existence, is excluded 
because the Essence of God is to exist. In created things 
this kind of composition is the source of all other kinds 
of composition. Its exclusion from God is in like manner 
the source of the exclusion of all composition from Him. 

2. The composition of essence and hypostatic cha- 
racters is also excluded ; that is to say, the Divine Essence 
is not determined by any individual character, as, for 
instance, the human essence is determined by special marks 
or characters in each human individual. 

3. There is likewise excluded the composition of sub- 
stance and its various accidents. 

4. Lastly, the Divine Simplicity excludes any composi- 
tion that might result from the real difference between 
several activities, such as between knowing, willing, and 
acting, between immanent and transient operation, and 
between necessary and contingent acts. All activity in 
God is one simple act. 

God alone IV. Physical simplicity is not exclusively proper to 

Saiy P simpie. God ; it also belongs to all created spirits, and constitutes 
their likeness to the Creator. Metaphysical simplicity, 
on the contrary, belongs to God alone. Created spirits, 
elevated by grace, may be made, to some extent, partakers 
of the simplicity of the Divine Life, but their elevation 
itself implies a composition of a peculiar kind, viz. that of 
a spiritual substance with an external accidental perfection. 
The simplicity of the life by which the created spirit shares 
supernaturally in the Simplicity of the Divine Life, consists 
in its being freed from the influence of creatures ; and being 
enabled to know God immediately in Himself, and to know 
and love everything else in Him and for Him. 

PAST I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 185 

V. The attribute of Simplicity excludes from the Divine CHAP. in. 
Substance everything that implies composition. If there ^f^ 64 - 
were no other distinctions but such as entail composition, in'ood 00 " 
distinction could no more be attributed to God than com- 
position. There are, however, distinctions which do not 
imply composition, but are based upon and are necessitated 
by the very simplicity and perfection of their object. Thus 
in God distinctions may be established which do not con- 
flict with His Simplicity, because they are made, not 
between separate elements, but between different ways of 
looking at one and the same perfection. Such differences 
are even necessary in God, for without them the real dis- 
tinction between the three Persons, and the essential dif- 
ference of attitude in God's activity within and without 
could not exist. An exaggerated notion of the Divine 
Simplicity was condemned by Pope John XXII. See 
Denzinger, Ixvi. 23, 24. 

Distinctions of the kind last mentioned are called 
in theological language Mental distinctions (distinctiones 
rationis] because the thing distinguished, although objec- 
tively one and the same, is represented in our mind by 
different conceptions. Such distinctions, therefore, really 
exist only in our mind ; but they are not mere subjective 
fictions, because the perfection of the object furnishes an 
objective foundation for them. Hence they are called 
" distinctiones rationis ratiocinate" or " cum fnndamento in 
re." They thus occupy a position between Real distinctions 
implying objective composition, and Merely-mental dis- 
tinctions having no objective value (distinctiones rationis 

SECT. 64. The Infinity of God 
I. The Infinite that is, the endless or limitless may "^ree way. 

* of con- 
be conceived under three different aspects, which are thus ceivingthe 

expressed in the language of the Schoolmen : (i) that than 
which nothing greater can be conceived (quo nihil majus 
cogitari potesf) ; (2) that which contains all conceivable great- 
ness or magnitude (guod continet omnem magnitudinem qua; 
cogitari potesf} ; (3) that which is incomparably and im- 
measurably greater than anything conceivable (quod est 

1 86 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. in. incompardbiliter vel incommensurabiliter mains omnibus aliis 

SECT. 64. . . . 

qua cogttart possunt). 

Gotiinfinito II. God was defined by the Vatican Council to be 
" Infinite in understanding and will and all perfection " 
(sess. iii., chap. i). This is to say, (i) God cannot be 
thought of as greater, better, or more perfect than He is, 
nor can any other being be conceived greater, better, or 
more perfect than God ; (2) there is no limit to the Divine 
perfection, because God contains all conceivable perfections, 
and the fulness of His Being attains the utmost limits of 
possible being both intensively and extensively, that is, 
God has every conceivable perfection and every conceivable 
form and degree of each perfection ; and (3) the plenitude 
of the Divine Being is such that no sum of finite perfections, 
however great, can either equal or measure it on the 
contrary, finite being and its indefinite increase and multi- 
plication are possible only on account of God's inexhaus- 
tible plenitude of Being. The absolute substantial infinity 
of God evidently implies that He is infinite (i) not only as 
compared with a certain kind of created beings, but as 
infinitely transcending all conceivable degrees and kinds 
of perfection ; (2) not only in some one attribute but in 
all ; (3) not only as to the magnitude or multitude of the 
objects of His activity, but also as to the perfection of His 
Essence and activity, Intellect, and Will in themselves. 

The Divine Infinity in Substance and perfection may 
be shown both a posteriori and a priori. Assuming as 
certain the infinity of certain particular attributes (e.g. om- 
nipotence and omniscience) and their identity with God's 
Essence, and with all the other attributes, the infinity in 
Substance and perfection plainly follows. And a priori, 
this infinity is contained in the Divine Aseity ; no limi- 
tation can be in God because no external principle can 
determine it, nor can it be due to internal incapacity for 
greater perfection. The infinity of particular attributes is 
based upon the infinity of the Substance because they are 
identical with it, and because their infinity is essentially 
contained in the plenitude of being required by the essence 
of the substance. Cf. Toletus, in /., q. 7. 

Hence we infer: I. The notion of Divine Infinity 

PAET I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 187 

excludes the possibility of things existing independently CHAP, in 
outside God, but not of things existing dependently on " 4 ' 

2. Things outside the Divine Substance cannot be added 
to the Divinity so as to produce, either a greater being, or 
at least a greater aggregate of beings. Hence God plus the 
universe, is not more than God alone. For the same reason 
it cannot be said that the Incarnation added being to the 
Divinity ; for the human nature of Christ is only united 
to the Divine Person inasmuch as God produces it and 
a Divine Person possesses it. 

3. The Divine Infinity does not prevent God's know- 
ledge, volition, and activity from being extended to objects 
outside Him (ad extra}. Such extension does not imply 
any real expansion or motion ad extra, but only an ideal 
intention or direction ; much less does it imply an increase 
from without, as it only bears upon things entirely dependent 
on God. 

III. Absolute Infinity of Substance and perfection iscodaw 
an attribute proper to God alone ; no substance, no per- m 
fection outside God 'can be infinite in the strict sense of 
the term, because infinity is incompatible with dependence. 
The infinite dignity of God can, it is true, be communicated 
by hypostatic union to a created nature ; but Infinity does 
not therefore cease to belong to God alone. This com- 
munication is effected, not by the production of a new and 
independent dignity, but by the assumption of a human 
nature by a Divine Person, Who makes it His own and 
is adored in it. Spiritual creatures resemble God in the 
simplicity of their substance ; they are also like Him in 
comparative infinity, inasmuch as they are not limited to 
the same extent as material creatures, and inasmuch as 
their intellectual faculties can know all things, even the 
Divine Infinity, and can embrace in their general concep- 
tions an immense multitude of possible beings. They 
participate still more in the Divine Infinity by means of 
grace and glory, whereby they are elevated above all 
sensible nature, nay, above their own nature, and are 
enabled to apprehend, if not to comprehend, the Infinite 
Being of God Himself. 

1 88 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 


SECT^S. SECT< 6 5> _77^ Immutability of God. 

Godim- I- God is absolutely immutable: no change whatever 

mutable. can a ^f ec ^. ^ e Dj v i ne Substance ; He is always absolutely 
the same in Substance, Attributes, and Life. 

Scripture. i. " I am the Lord, and I change not " (Mai. iii. 6) ; " the 

Father of lights, with Whom there is no change nor shadow 
of alteration " irapaXXayii fj Tpoirtjs cnroaKiaafjia (James i. 17 J 
cf. Ps. ci. 27, 28, and Heb. i. 1 1, 12 ; Rom. i. 23 ; i Tim. i. 17, 
vi. 16; Wisd. vii. 27, etc.). 

Tradition. 2. Tradition, too, abounds with similar testimonies. 

The Councils and Fathers take for granted the Divine 
Immutability as an article of Faith in their disputes with 
the Arians, who opposed the Son of God to the Father 
as the changeable to the unchangeable ; they demonstrate 
it against the Gnostics and Manichaeans, who taught the 
emanation of creatures from God ; against the Stoics, who 
maintained the passivity of God ; against the Eutychians 
and Patripassiani, who affirmed a conversion of the Divine 
Nature into the human nature, or conversely. After the 
Creed, the Council of Nicaea added the words, "The 
Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes those who 
say that the Son of God is variable (aAXotwrov) or change- 
able (TJOETTTOV)." Moreover, this doctrine is a prominent 
feature of all apologetics against the heathen. It is a 
favourite theme of St. Augustine (cf. De Civ. Dei, 1. xi., 
cc. 10, II, and 1. xii., c. 17). 

Reason. 3. The rational proofs of the Divine Immutability are 

derived from the very Essence of God, which is Being 
pure and simple, excluding all beginning and end ; from 
the independence and self-sufficiency of the Divine Essence, 
which exclude all external influence and all internal 
reasons requiring or producing change ; from the Divine 
Simplicity, which excludes all composition or decompo- 
sition consequent upon mutability ; from the Divine In- 
finity, which is incompatible with increase and decrease, 
or substitution of one state of being for another in the 
Divine Substance ; and, lastly, from the necessity by which 
God actually is all that He can be, which excludes the 
possibility of acquisition or loss. These arguments, espe- 

PART I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 189 

cially the last named, would seem at first sight not to apply CHAP, in 
to God's contingent acts of thought and will. But it is E ^_ 5 
absolutely necessary that His cognition and volition of 
things outside Him should be themselves determined, be- 
cause indetermination would involve imperfection ; and if 
this determination in God (ad intrd) is absolutely necessary , 
its direction on this or that particular object cannot be 
something with a beginning or end. Moreover, although 
these intentions or directions of the Divine Intellect and 
Will upon contingent objects do not constitute the essential 
Being and Life of God, and although the Divine Essence and 
Life are entirely independent of them, still, as a matter of fact, 
they are contained in the Divine Essence and Life, and con- 
sequently they must participate in the immutability of these. 
By basing the immutability of God's free decrees upon 
the necessity of His whole Being, we have also given the 
principle for explaining the apparent contradiction between 
the Divine Immutability and the freedom of God's Will. 
It is evident that the power of changing a decision once 
freely taken is not essential to freedom ; on the contrary, 
consistency belongs to the ideal of freedom. Now, in 
order to produce a change in God, a free determination 
should cause a new act or new existence in such a way as 
to be opposed to the Divine Simplicity and Infinity. But, 
as we have already seen ( 64, II.), this is not the case. 
Indeed, the difficulty of accounting for free will in God 
arises less from His Immutability than from His Sim- 
plicity, Infinity, and Necessity, although, when rightly 
understood, these very attributes are the foundation of His 
freedom. The following thesis supplies the key to the 
solution of the other difficulties. 

II. "God, although immutable in Himself, is the prin- 
ciple of all mutable beings and of all the changes which 
take place in them ; wherefore God's essential Immutability 
does not exclude the variability of His external activity 
and of His relations to creatures. Everything, however, 
which would involve any change in the Divine Substance 
must be excluded, notably all newness of volition or motion 
in execution, and every affection and determination received 
from without." This doctrine is of Faith, and is also theo- 

190 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IL 

CHAP. in. logically and philosophically evident ; but theologians differ 
in their way of expressing and applying it. 

Creation and I. The works of the Divine Omnipotence are not eternal. 
Creation and all the acts of Providence are measured by 
time, and therefore, when the effect commences, the Divine 
action (ad extra} that causes it commences likewise. But the 
realization, in time, of the eternal decree is not a formal 
change in the producer, nor does it presuppose such a change. 
God does not produce effects by means of forces or instru- 
ments, but by simply enacting His Omnipotent Will. Much 
less do the attributes of Creator, Lord, and the rest, based 
upon God's external activity, involve a change in Him (cf. 
St. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 1. xii., c. 17 ; Abelard, Introd., 
1. iii., c. 6). 

Theincar- 2. Again, God enters into various relations with His 

nation and 

grace. creatures, notably in the Incarnation and by means of 
the operation of His grace. These relations constitute 
a variation which proceeds from God, and in a certain 
manner also terminates in Him. But here, also, the crea- 
ture alone is substantially and inwardly affected by the 
change ; grace brings the creature nearer to God, and in 
the case of the Incarnation the creature is elevated to unity 
in Person and dignity with God, Who Himself is neither 
elevated nor lowered in the process (cf. St. Augustine, Lib. 
83 Q?t(sst. y q., 73, De Incarn^). 

God's 3. Thirdly, God takes notice of the changes which occur 

tow P aiMs' n in creatures, and disposes His operations accordingly. It 
would seem, therefore, that such changes in creatures react 
on the Creator, and affect even His inmost life. But the 
real motive determining the Divine operations is in God 
Himself; that He is disposed differently, according to the 
good or evil conduct of creatures, does not entail a variety 
of acts or dispositions in Him. His infinite love for the 
Supreme Good is at the same time love for the good among 
His creatures, and hatred and anger against the wicked. 
Moreover, His pleasure or displeasure bestowed at various 
times has really existed from all eternity in Him, but is 
manifested in time. Repentance, indeed, seems to be most 
incompatible with the Divine Immutability. Holy Scripture 
sometimes denies its existence in God, but at other times 

PART .1] The Negative Attributes of God. 191 

attributes it to Him. We must therefore understand that CHAP. in. 
the Divine operations or affections manifest themselves SE ^j_ 66 
externally, in various times and circumstances, in such a 
manner as to resemble human repentance. Cf. St. Augus- 
tine, Ad Siniplicium, q. ii., n. 2. 

III. Absolute immutability belongs to God alone. ItGodaione 
cannot be communicated to creatures, because they are "" 
by their very essence subject to change. However, by 
means of grace all defective mutations natural to creatures 
can be prevented, and even made impossible ; and when 
this takes place the immutability which belongs to God is, 
to some extent, communicated to His creatures. But this 
communicated immutability is never absolute, because it 
does not exclude multiplicity and progress in the creature's 
inner life. We should note that a sort of immutability 
belongs by nature to all spiritual creatures, viz. the incor- 
ruptibility of their substance and the immortality of their 

SECT. 66. The Inconfusibility of God. 

I. The attribute which we -have now to consider is a Definition, 
complement of the Divine Simplicity. It excludes from 

God the possibility of entering into composition with any 
other substance, form, or matter, and of His being num- 
bered or classed with other things. Hence, too, the exclu- 
sion of the Pantheistic system, which would degrade the 
perfection of the Divinity below that of created spirits. 
The Vatican Council asserts this attribute by stating that 
God is " ineffably exalted above all things that exist or 
can be conceived" (sess. Hi., chap. i). 

II. God can no more enter into necessary or sub- The Vaticat 
stantial composition with any other substance than He expounded. 
can admit of composition within Himself ; for the com- 
ponent substance would have to become part of the Divine 
Substance, and would thus destroy its Simplicity. God 
cannot become identical with other substances, because 
either these substances would cease to be distinct from 

each other, or there would be an end of the Divine bethe an 
Simplicity. JStoSaw 

I. God cannot be the matter or substratum of all things, Universe; 

1 92 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. in. because His Substance is eminently one, simple, and in- 
E ' divisible. He cannot, again, be the root of all things 
in the sense that things partake of His Substance and 
live by His own proper energy. 

nor its soul. 2. Nor can He be the soul or substantial form of the 
universe, even in such a way that His Substance only 
partially acts as soul of the world, and has an independent 
existence besides. All these hypotheses directly contradict 
the attributes of Simplicity, Immutability, and Infinity, 
not to mention various absurdities which they involve. 

3. God cannot, even in a supernatural manner, form 
part of a composition resulting in the production of a 
nature. Hence in the Incarnation there is neither unity 
of nature nor loss of independence or self-sufficiency on 
the part of the Divine Person Who makes the human 
nature His own, and submits it to Himself. A union of 
this kind, viz. by active assumption and dominion, and 
without any fusion of the united natures, is not excluded by 
any Divine attribute ; on the contrary, it is possible only 
on the ground of the Absolute Being, Power, and Dominion. 

4. God cannot be reckoned or classed with other 
beings, because He has nothing in common with them. No 
general notion can embrace God and His creatures. Even 
the notions of substance and being have different meanings 
when applied to God, and when applied to creatures. 

God present HI. Although the absolute simplicity of the Divine 
mail thmgs g u b s t- ance exalts it above all created substances, neverthe- 
less this same attribute renders it possible for God to 
permeate creatures with His Substance in a manner far 
more intimate than one creature could penetrate and per- 
meate another. That innermost presence of which the 
Apostle speaks : " Who is above all, and through all, and 
in us all," 6 7rt Travrwv Kai Sta Travrwv KOL EV ira&iv (Eph. iv. 6), 
is an immediate consequence of the creation and preserva- 
tion of all things. In a certain degree it extends to all 
things, but it increases according to the increase of God's 
influence on creatures. An intimate union with Him 
requires the elevation of the creature to a supernatural 
state, and is therefore limited to certain classes of creatures. 
We shall treat further on of the Hypostatic Union by 

PABT I.] The Negative Attributes of God 193 

which God the Son unites to Himself a human nature, and CHAP, in 
also of the intellectual union of the Divine Substance with E fl_ 6; ' 
the blessed in the Beatific Vision. 

SECT. 67. The Immensity of God. 

I. The dogma of the Divine Immensity and Incircum- Godim- 
scriptibility (a^w/orjToe) is based upon the fact that God is m< 
entirely independent of space and place. He has no formal 
extension, nor is He contained in any definite room or 
place ; He is exalted above space and place ; His virtual 
extension is such that no formal extension whatsoever can 
exceed, equal, or measure it; no space, real or possible, 
can include His Immensity ; all space, real and possible, 
is included in Him. Consequently, God is everywhere 
in an eminent manner ; we cannot conceive Him absent 
from any existing place, and if any new space came into 
existence, God would be there also. 

i. In Holy Scripture the attribute of Immensity appears Scrfoturt. 
more in its concrete form of Omnipresence as opposed to 
the circumscribed presence of creatures. "The Lord He 
is God in Heaven above and in the earth beneath" 
(Deut. iv. 39). " Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit ? or 
whither shall I flee from Thy face ? If I go up into 
heaven, Thou art there ; if I go down into hell, Thou art 
present. If I take my wings early in the morning, and 
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also 
shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold 
me. And I said, Perhaps darkness shall cover me, and 
night shall be my light in my pleasures. But darkness 
shall not be dark to Thee, and night shall be as light as 
the day : the darkness thereof and the light thereof are 
alike to Thee" (Ps. cxxxviii. 7-12). "Am I, think ye, a 
God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? 
Shall a man be hid in secret places, and I not see him, 
saith the Lord ? Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the 
Lord ? " (Jer. xxiii. 23, 24). " Peradventure thou wilt 
comprehend the steps of God, and wilt find out the 
Almighty perfectly ? He is higher than heaven, and what 
wilt thou do ? He is deeper than hell, and how wilt thou 
know? The measure of Him is longer than the earth, and 


194 -d Manual of Catholic Tlieology. [BOOK n. 
CHAP. in. broader than the sea " (Job xi. 7-9). See also I Kings 

SECT. 67. ... T i 

vni. 29; Isai. xi. 12, etc. 

Tradition. 2. The Fathers very often insist upon this attribute. 

We must here confine ourselves to referring to the most im- 
portant passages : St. Gregory the Great, Moral, in Job, 1. ii., 
c. 8, on the words, " Satan went forth from the presence of 
the Lord ; " St. Hilary, De Trinitate, \. i., near the begin- 
ning. Abelard has put into verse the text of St. Gregory. 
We give it as containing an abridgment of the doctrine of 
the Fathers. 

" Super cuncta, subtus cuncta, extra cuncta, intra cuncta : 
Intra cuncta nee inclusus, extra cuncta nee exclusus, 
Subter cuncta nee subtractus, super cuncta nee elatus ; 
Super totus possidendo, subter totus sustinendo, 
Extra totus complectendo, intra totus es implendo ; 
Intra nusquam coarctaris, extra numquam dilataris, 
Subtus nullo fatigaris, super nullo sustentaris." 

(Rythm. De Trin., v. 3 sqq.) 

Reason. 3. The Divine Exaltedness above, and Independence 

of space and place result from the spirituality of the 
Divine Substance. Immensity, in its full import, is a 
necessary condition of the absolute Immutability of God. 
For either God is essentially excluded from space, or He 
is in some definite space, or He fills and exceeds all space. 
The first alternative is absurd. As to the second, if God 
were in a definite place and not outside it, He would have 
to move in order to pass from place to place, which would 
be inconsistent with God's sovereign self-sufficiency and im- 
mobility. Moreover, the Divine Immensity is a consequence 
of the Divine Omnipotence. For even granting the possi- 
bility of action from a distance, this action cannot be con- 
ceived in God in Whom action and substance are identical. 
But as God has the power of producing every possible 
creature, no place can be thought of for a creature where 
God is not already present in Substance and in Essence. 
The immensity of the virtual extension is based on the 
infinite plenitude of the Divine Being which implies the 
capability of being present to all things. 

r,od ainne II. The attributes of Immensity and Ubiquity belong 

to God alone ; they cannot be communicated to creatures 
any more than the Divine Substance itself. We can, how- 


PABT I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 195 

ever, conceive a creature endowed with a sort of ubiquity CHAP. IIL 
in the sense of filling all the space really existing. More- 
over, a created spirit, and even a material body, can be 
supernaturally endowed with the power of Replication 
that is, the capability of being in several places at the same 
time. Concerning the Replication of the Body of Christ 
in the Holy Eucharist, more will be said in the treatises 
on the Incarnation and Holy Eucharist. 

SECT. 68. The Eternity of God. 

I. The Divine Eternity signifies (i) that the duration God eternal, 
of God is above and independent of time, inasmuch as 
He has neither beginning nor end and is in no wise limited 
by time, but coexists with and exceeds all time ; (2) that 
the Divine duration is absolutely without change or suc- 
cession, and is in no way affected by the flow of time ; 
(3) that the duration of God is absolutely and essentially 
indivisible : it admits of no past or future, but is an ever- 
standing present. The simplicity and virtual extension 
of God's duration are a superabundant equivalent for all 
real and possible time. All this is admirably summed 
up in the well-known definition given by Boethius (De 
Consol Phil., 1. v., prop. 6) : " ^ternitas est interminabilis 
vitae tota simul et perfecta possessio " " Eternity is the 
possession, perfect and all at once, of life without beginning 
or end." That is to say, God's activity is absolutely change- 
less, but yet is life indestructible ; all limit is excluded from 
this life, but yet endlessness is a consequence of Eternity 
rather than its essence ; and this life is possessed " all at 
once," to show that there is no succession in it, but that 
God in His everpresent " now " enjoys everything that He 
could have possessed or can ever possess. 

I. Holy Scripture, as might be expected, refers fre- 
quently to God's Eternity. The very name " He Who is " 
implies the necessity of endless and ever-present existence. 
" I the Lord, I am the first and the last " (Isai. xli. 4). 
"Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and 
that was, and that is to come " (Apoc. i. 4). " Before 
the mountains were made, or the earth and the world was 
formed ; from eternity and unto eternity Thou art God " 

196 A Mamial of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 1L 

CHAP. in. (Ps. Ixxxix. 2, cf. Ecclus. xlii. 21). "Amen, amen, I 
SECT'S, say to you, before Abraham was made, I am " (John viii. 
58). " In the beginning, O Lord, thou didst found the 
earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They 
shall perish but Thou remainest ; and all of them shall 
grow old like a garment ; and as a vesture shalt Thou 
change them and they shall be changed. But Thou art 
always the self-same, and Thy years shall not fail " (Ps. ci. 
26-28). " A thousand years in Thy sight are as yesterday 
which is past " (Ps. Ixxxix. 4). " One day with the Lord is 
as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day " 
(2 Pet. iii. 8). 

Tradition. 2. Among the Fathers St. Augustine should be espe- 

cially consulted. " Eternal life," he says, " surpasses tem- 
poral life by its very vivacity ; nor can I perceive what 
eternity is except by the eye of my mind. For by that I 
exclude from eternity all change, and in eternity I perceive 
no portions of time, because these are made up of past 
and future movement. But in eternity nothing is past or 
future, because what is past has ceased to be, and what 
is future has not yet begun ; whereas eternity only is, not 
was, as though it were not still, not will be, as though it 
were not yet ('yEternitas tantummodo est, nee fuit, quasi 
jam non sit, nee erit, quasi adhuc non sit"). Wherefore it 
alone can most truly say of itself : ' I am who am ; ' and 
of it alone can be said, ' He Who is sent me to you ' " 
(De Vera Relig., c. 49 ; see also In Psalm, cxxi., n. 6 ; 
Tract, in Joannem, xcix.). 

Relation of II. God, in virtue of His Eternity, bears certain relations 

Eternity" 6 to time and to temporal events. His duration has no 

lo time. 1_ i -L L , M , 

beginning, succession, or end, but it necessarily coexists 
with, precedes, and exceeds all real time. The Divine 
Eternity, having the simplicity of the Divine Essence and 
being only virtually extended, coexists in its entirety with 
every single moment of time, just as the central point of 
a circle coexists with all the points of the circumference. 
Hence temporal things have no successive duration in 
the eye of God ; that is, in comparison with the Divine 
Eternity, they do not come and go, and pass by or along 
parts of it. In God's sight they have neither past nor 

PART i.J The Negative Attributes of God. 197 

future, but are eternally present. Thus the points of a CHAP. in. 
circumference in motion change their positions relatively SECT ' ^ 
to other points but always remain at the same distance 
from the centre. This, however, does not involve the 
eternal existence of events and things. Their eternal 
presence in God's sight is owing, not to a duration co- 
extensive with eternity on the part of creatures, but to the 
fact that the Divine Eternity encompasses and embraces 
all created duration, in the same way as the virtual exten- 
sion of the Divine Substance encompasses and embraces 
all space. God sees and knows as actually standing before 
Him in His presence all things of all times, so that the 
Divine knowledge cannot rightly be called either memory 
or foreknowledge. 

III. Eternity in the strict sense of the word belongs to Godaione 
God alone, and is the result of His independent and neces- et< 
sary mode of existence. Both reason and Scripture mani- 
festly teach this. But it is not certain whether duration 
without beginning or end is incommunicable to creatures. 
Weighty theologians admit the possibility of a being 
created from all eternity ; but it is of faith that no such 
being exists. Duration without end can of course be 
communicated to creatures, and will be the lot of all 
rational beings made according to God's image and like- 
ness. Nay, in a supernatural manner, God can elevate 
them even to a participation in the simplicity of His 
eternal Life, inasmuch as He grants them a life the object 
of which is His own eternal Substance, and which there- 
fore participates in the simple immobility and uniformity 
of the Divine Life. Cf. St. Thomas, Contra Gentes, 1. iii., 
c. 6 1. 

SECT. 69. The Invisibility of God. 

I. Vision is properly the act of the noblest of our senses ; Godinvisibi* 
but, analogically, the term is also applied to the knowledge bodily eye, 
acquired by the mind's eye, particularly to the knowledge 
acquired by direct, immediate intuition of an object. All 
created things are visible, if not to all, at least to some 
created beings. But God is invisible to the bodily eye of 
creatures, even independently of His Simplicity, because 

198 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. in. He is a pure Spirit. This invisibility is a matter of faith ; 
SECT.^9. SQ muc j lj at t he least^ i s implied by the texts which will be 


and to the II. God is also invisible to the mental eye of angels 

mind. u and of men, and indeed of every conceivable created spirit ; 
but it is possible for Him to make Himself visible to the 

Scripture, supernaturally illuminated eye of created spirits. " Who 
alone hath immortality and dvvelleth in light inaccessible 
(/>w5 otKwv ctTrpocnrov), Whom no man hath seen nor can 
see" (i Tim. vi. 16). Here the eminent perfection of God, 
His inaccessible light, is given as the cause of His In- 
visibility. " No man hath seen God at any time " (John 
i. 1 8). "We see now through a glass in a dark manner : 
but then face to face. Now I know in part ; but then I 
shall know even as I am known" (i Cor. xiii. 12). "The 
invisible (TO ao/oara) things of Him from the creation of 
the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things 
that are made " (Rom. i. 20) ; that is to say, God is 
invisible, unknowable in Himself, but is seen mediately 
and indirectly through the medium of creatures. See also 
above, sect. 56. 

Theological The reason why God is invisible to the bodily eye is 
because He is physically simple ; His absolute metaphysical 
simplicity and immateriality make Him invisible to the 
mental eye also. These attributes establish such a dispro- 
portion between the Divine Essence and the intellectual 
faculties of creatures, that God cannot be the object of such 
faculties. "It is impossible," says St. Thomas, "for any 
created intellect by its own natural powers to see the 
Divine Essence. For cognition takes place so far as the 
object known is in the subject knowing. But the former 
is in the latter according to the manner of existence of the 
latter ; wherefore all knowledge is in accordance with the 
nature of the subject knowing. If, therefore, the mode of 
existence of the object to be known is of a higher order 
than that of the subject knowing, the knowledge of this 
object is above the nature of the subject. . . . The know- 
ledge of Self-existing Being is natural to the Divine Intellect 
alone ; for no creature is its own existence, but all creatures 
have a participated, dependent existence. The created 


PART I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 199 

intellect therefore cannot see God by means of His CHAP.III. 
Essence, except in so far as God by His grace unites SE fIi 69 ' 
Himself to the created intellect as knowable by it" (/., 
q. 12, a. 4). 

III. At first sight the arguments given would seem tocodnot 
prove that God is altogether unknowable to any creature, unknowable 
If the bodily eye cannot behold a created spirit because the 
latter is simple, much less can a spirit gaze upon God whose 
simplicity is in finitely more above the simplicity of a created 
spirit than this is above matter. This difficulty is answered 
by St. Thomas, Contra Gentes, 1. iii., c. 54 : " The Divine 
Substance is not beyond the reach of the created intellect as 
being entirely extraneous thereto (as for instance sound is to 
the eye, or as an immaterial substance is to the senses), for 
the Divine Substance is the first thing intelligible (primum 
intelligibile)) and is the principle of all intellectual cogni- 
tion. It is outside the created intellect only as exceed- 
ing the powers of the latter, in the same way as in the 
domain of the senses excessive light is blinding and exces- 
sive sound is deafening (excellentia sensibilium sunt extra 
facultatem scnsuum). Whence the Philosopher (Aristotle) 
says in the second book of the Metaphysics, that our 
intellect is to the most manifest things what the eye of the 
owl is to the sunlight. The created intellect, therefore, 
requires to be strengthened by some Divine light in order 
to be able to gaze on the Divine Essence." See also /., 
q. 12, a. 4 ad 3. 

God enables the created intellect to behold His Sub- 
stance by elevating and refining its cognitive powers and 
by impressing Himself upon them as intelligible form. 
This elevation and " information " of the intellect is possible 
by reason of His infinite Simplicity. The elevation, indeed, 
is but an assimilation to His infinitely simple Intellect, 
and can therefore only be communicated by God in virtue 
of His Simplicity ; whereas the " information " is possible 
because God's Substance is infinitely more simple than 
that of created spirits, so that He can infuse Himself into 
them and unite Himself so intimately with them as to 
become their vivifying form. See, on this point, St. Thomas, 
Contra Gentcs, 1. iii., c. 51. 

2oo A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

SECT. 70. 

The vision 
of God in 
ttatit vite. 

God Incom- 


IV. To sraze on God is so much above the nature of 


the human mind in its present state of union with the 
body, that, according to the common teaching, such a 
vision could not take place without producing either an 
ecstasy or the suspension, if not the complete extinction, 
of the natural life. Hence the vision of God cannot be 
granted to man during this mortal life unless as an excep- 
tion or special privilege. This privilege, however, as far as 
we know with certainty, exists only for the human soul of 
Christ, which, in virtue of the Hypostatic Union, is from 
the beginning in the bosom of God with the Divine Person. 
What we have said easily explains the meaning of 
Exod. xxxiii. 20 : " Thou canst not see My Face ; for 
man shall not see Me and live." In the Old Testament 
the expression, " to see God face to face," is often used in 
connection with any clear manifestation, internal or ex- 
ternal, of God or of His Angels ; e.g. Gen. xxxii. 30 ; 
Exod. xxxiii. 1 1. 

SECT. 70. The Incomprehensibility of God. 

I. In the Church's language the term " comprehend " 
(comprehendere, KaTaXa/mflaveiv, ywpiiv} sometimes desig- 
nates intuitive knowledge, as opposed to mediate, indirect, 
or abstract knowledge ; sometimes adequate knowledge 
that is, knowledge exhaustive of its object, embracing 
whatever is knowable in and of the object. As the sim- 
plicity of God makes Him invisible to all beings except 
Himself, so does His infinity make Him incomprehensible 
to all but Himself. The adequate comprehension of the 
Divinity cannot be communicated, even in the Beatific 
Vision, to any creature. This is of faith as defined in the 
Fourth Lateran Council (cap. Firmiter), and again in the 
Vatican Council (sess. iii., chap, i), where God is described 
as incomprehensible as well as immense and omnipotent. 
Besides, the term Incomprehensible, as applied to God in 
Holy Scripture and Tradition, has always been taken to 
imply the absolute impossibility of being adequately known 
by any creature. 

II. The Divine Incomprehensibility is often spoken of 
in Holy Scripture in connection, not, indeed, with the 

PART I.] The Negative Attributes of God. 201 

Beatific Vision, but with man's limited knowledge. Never- CHAP. HI. 
theless, the reasons which show the impossibility for man E f3L 71 " 
adequately to know God, apply also to the case of the 
blessed in Heaven. " O the depth of the riches of the wis- 
dom and of the knowledge of God ! How incomprehensible 
are His judgments and unsearchable are His ways ! For 
who hath known the mind of the Lord ? Or who hath 
been His counsellor ? Or who hath first given to Him and 
recompense shall be made him?" Rom. xi. 33-35 ; see 
also Job xi. 1-9 ; Ecclus. xliii. 30 sqq. ; Ps. cxliv. 3. The 
doctrine of the Fathers may be found in Petavius (De Deo, 
vii. 3, 4) and Ruiz (De Scientia Dei, disp. vi.). 

III. The inner and formal reason of God's Incomprehen- Reason 
sibility lies in His infinity. An infinite object surpasses 
the powers of a finite mind ; and as the " light of glory " 
granted to the blessed in Heaven still leaves them finite, it 
does not enable them to fully grasp the Infinite. In the 
language of the Schoolmen, a blessed spirit sees the Infinite 
but not infinitely (infinitum non infinite) ; and sees the 
whole of it, but not wholly (totum non totaliter). 

SECT. 71. The Ineff ability of God. 
I. An object may be ineffable in two ways. First, the God in- 

l ij i. r . u j r ,. j effable - 

knowledge we have of it may be defective, and conse- 
quently the expression of it must be defective ; or, secondly> 
language may be inadequate to express the knowledge 
really possessed. 

1. God is ineffable or inexpressible inasmuch as no Knowledge 
created mind has an adequate knowledge of Him. In this 

sense the Divine Ineffability is a corollary of the Divine 
Incomprehensibility, and is likewise a matter of faith. 
We have already explained in 56 how, notwithstanding 
the attribute of Ineffability, man is able to speak about 
God and to give Him various names. 

2. God is also ineffable in the sense that no created Expression 


mind can give to the highest knowledge of God an ex- 
pression adequate to convey it to other minds. In this 
sense the Divine Ineffability is a corollary of the Divine 
Invisibility. Moreover, a created medium cannot be ade- 
quate to convey a knowledge of the Infinite as it is in 

2O2 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. in. itself. The kind of ineffability in question belongs also, 
?I ' to a certain extent, to the supernatural knowledge of God 
sometimes communicated to saints even in this life 
a knowledge which they cannot express in words ; like 
St. Paul, who " heard secret words which it is not granted 
to man to utter" (2 Cor. xii. 4). 

H ff f r - s II. It is highly probable, though by no means certain, 
the Beatific that in the Beatific Vision the knowledge of the blessed 


is not a mental representation (species expressa), as in all 
other acts of intellectual cognition. If this is the case, 
God is ineffable to such a degree that not only is an ade- 
quate expression of Him impossible, but even any sort 
of expression of Him as He is in Himself. 
God not HI. To Himself, however, God is not ineffable. He 

ineffable to . 

Himself. produces in Himself an adequate expression of His Being 
which is His consubstantial Word (Aoyoe-) By means of 
this Word, Who is, as it were, the Face of God, the blessed 
see the Divine Essence as it is in itself. 

( 203 * 


SECT. 72. The Unity of God. 
I. GOD, by reason of the perfect simplicity of His Sub- CHAT iv. 

j r> i SECT - I 3 - 

stance and .Being, is one in a supreme and unique manner : 
" maxime unus," as St. Thomas says, or " Unissimus " eminently 
according to St. Bernard. He is the primarily One; that n 
is, not made one, but eminently one by His own Essence, 
immeasurably more one than anything beneath Him. 
And this Oneness of God has a particular excellence 
from its being on the one hand infinitely comprehensive, 
and on the other hand perfectly immutable and always the 
same. Hence the Fathers call God, not only one, but " The 
Unity," Ipsa Unitas, tvag, fiovaq. 

II. In virtue of the absolute perfection of His Unity, God unique 
God is absolutely unique ; there can be no other being 
above or beside Him ; He necessarily stands alone above 

all other beings. His absolute simplicity excludes especially 
the possibility of multiplication of His Essence. " I am 
Jehovah, and there is none else ; there is no God besides 
Me" (Isai. xlv. 5). The proofs of this Unicity or Unique- 
ness are best given by St. Thomas, Contra Gentes, 1. i., c. 
42. Of these we may mention one ; viz. that from the 
Divine Infinity God exhausts the plentitude of being; no 
being independent of Him can be conceived or can exist. 
If there were another God, neither would be the highest 
being, and so neither would be God at all. Oodthe 

III. God, by His eminent and all-perfect' unity, is the 5ftS-. 

204 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP.IV. foundation and highest ideal of the unity of all other beings. 
K 2l2^ He is at the same time, by the plenitude and richness of 
His unity, the principle and ideal of multiplicity and variety. 
By His eternal immutability He is the centre round which 
other beings gravitate, and by which they are held together. 
He is at once the Alpha and Omega of all things. 

SECT. 73. God, the Objective Truth. 

God th I. As God is essentially the most simple, infinite, and 

immutable perfection, He possesses the attribute of onto- 
logical or objective truth in an infinite degree. The act 
by which the Divine Essence knows itself is not merely a 
representation of the Divine Essence to the Divine Mind : 
it is identically one and the same with His Essence. Hence 
God is the clearest and purest truth. Again, as the per- 
fection of the Divine Essence is infinite, it is also infinitely 
knowable, and fills the Divine Mind with a knowledge than 
which no greater can be conceived ; wherefore God is the 
highest and completest truth. Moreover, the Divine truth 
participates in the immutability of the Divine Essence, and 
therefore God is the immutable truth. Lastly, as God is 
His own Being, so is He also His own truth, and truth 
pure and simple ; that is, He necessarily knows Himself 
as He is, and His knowledge is independent of everything 
not Himself. 

This doctrine is but a repetition, in another form, of 
the doctrine on the Divine Essence. It is implicitly con- 
tained in John xiv. 6, " I am the way, the truth, and the 
life," and I John v. 6, " Christ is the truth (TJ oAiyfleia)." 

Oodthe II. God is, further, the First Truth (prima veritas). 

fast Truth. ^ r 

No truth is before Him or above Him. As First Cause 
He is the foundation of the objective truth of all things 
existing, and also of the possibility of all things possible. 
He is the prototype, the ideal, of all things, and conse- 
quently the measure of the truth they contain. He is, 
as it were, the mirror or the objective light, in which all 
things can be known better than in themselves, although 
not necessarily by us. Hence it follows (i) that we can 
know nothing as true except by some influence of the First 
Truth on our mind ; (2) that the affirmation of any truth 

PART L] The Positive Attributes of God. 205 

implies the affirmation of the First and Fundamental CHAPIV 
Truth ; and (3) that the negation of God implies the E fl_ 74> 
negation of all objective truth, thus not only making all 
knowledge uncertain, but changing it into falsehood and 

SECT. 74. God, the Objective Goodness. 

I. Whatever creatures are or possess, comes to them God th 


from without ; hence they are not sources of goodness, 
but rather subjects capable of being made good by the 
accession of new perfections. Creatures never contain in 
themselves all their goodness ; their internal goodness is 
but part of their total goodness, or is a means of acquiring 
and enjoying external goods. God, on the contrary, being 
essentially the fulness of perfection, appears to our mind 
as good, containing eminently all that is worth desiring 
or possessing. He is not perfectible by the accession of 
external goodness. All extra-Divine goodness is merely 
a communication or outflow from the Divine abundance 
of perfection. He is not a good of some kind or class ; 
He is the Good pure and simple, the essential Goodness. 

II. The infinite Essence of God is not only the good God the 
of God Himself, wherein He finds all He can desire and good things, 
possess, but is, besides, the good of all other things ; that 

is to say, it is the inexhaustible source from which all 
other things draw their goodness, and which all other 
things, because of their self-insufficiency, desire to possess. 
The Divine Goodness is the good of all others, because it 
contains more than the equivalent of all others, and pro- 
duces all others, and is what we desire, or tend to, when 
we desire all other goods. It is, moreover, the only neces- 
sary and all-sufficient good, and the sovereign and highest 
good ; it is the first and fundamental good, and the end 
and object of all good ; all other goods must be desired 
as coming from God, and must be possessed as a partici- 
pation of the Divine Goodness itself. 

III. It is especially in relation to His intelligent crea-Godthe 
tures that God appears as the highest Good, and as the end teiiigent" 1 * 
of all goodness. He is the good of irrational creatures, especially. 
inasmuch as He communicates to them existence and its 

206 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP iv. concomitant created perfections; whereas to reasonable 
SECT.JS. crea t ures j^ e communicates Himself, to be possessed by 
means of knowledge and love. In this capacity God is 
the highest good of His reasonable creatures, standing out 
above all their other goods, surpassing them all in perfec- 
tion, and alone able to gratify all the desires and to realize 
all the aspirations of the created mind. He stands out as 
the end of all other goods because these either are not 
objects of enjoyment or are not merely such, but at the 
same time means for attaining the fruition of the Divine 
Good. The Schoolmen express this doctrine by saying 
that God is bonum fruendum, "the Good to be enjoyed;" 
whereas creatures are bona ntenda, " goods to be used." 

The classical texts from the Fathers on the Divine 
Goodness are St. Augustine, De Trinitate, 1. viii., n. 4, 5 ; 
Dionysius (Vulg.), De Div. Norn., c. iv., esp. 4 ; St. Anselm, 
Proslog., cc. 23-25. 

cod IV. God is also eminently good and lovable, because 

bvLue. tv He actually possesses in an infinite degree whatever is 

good and lovable, and because nothing outside Him is 

good and lovable except in as far as it partakes of the 

Divine Goodness. 

SECT. 75. God, the Absolute Beauty. 

God mot I. God is the highest Good, and consequently the most 

beautiful good. This implies that God is not desired 
merely as a means to an end, but as desirable in Himself, 
on account of His essential perfection ; that God is not 
merely lovable on account of the benefits He bestows, 
but lovable in Himself and for His own sake; and that 
He is admirable not merely on account of His works, but 
on account of His internal perfection. 

Oodthe II. God is, moreover, the absolute Beauty, and the self- 

Beau'ty. 6 subsisting Ideal of all that is beautiful, because in His 
infinite perfection He contains eminently whatever can 
make creatures the object of pleasurable contemplation. 
To Himself God is the object of eternal joy, and the 
delight which He finds in the contemplation of Himself 
moves Him to impress beauty upon His external works. 
To His intellectual creatures He is the only beauty which 

PART I.] The Positive Attributes of God. 207 

can fully satisfy their craving, the ideal of which all created CHAP.IV. 

, - c . , SECT. 75. 

beauty is a faint copy. 

The Divine Beauty, however, is not the result of the 
harmony of parts or of anything that presupposes com- 
position. God's Beauty resides in the absolute simplicity 
of His perfection, in virtue of which each element of it 
is refulgent with the beauty of all. 

Holy Scripture usually mentions the Divine Beauty as 
Glory. Cf. Wisd. xiii. 3, and also vii., viii. ; Ecclus. xxiv. 
Among the Fathers, see St. Basil, Reg. Fus., Disp. intern ii. ; 
St. Hilary, De Trin., 1. i. ; Dion. (Vulg.), De Div. Norn. 
c. iv., 7. 

III. The Divine Beauty contains the type of all that is God the 
beautiful in creation. We find it copied with various beau^. 
degrees of perfection in every work of God's power and 
wisdom. It appears most faintly in the beauty of mathe- 
matical proportions, which contain a certain unity in 
multiplicity, but abstracted from all reality. The inor- 
ganic substances, especially the nobler metals and gems, 
represent more of the Divine prototype. But the best 
image of the Divine Beauty, in the inorganic world, is 
light. Light not only has its own beauty, it also lends 
beauty to all other material things. Its rarity is the 
nearest approach, as far as our sensitive knowledge goes, 
to the Divine simplicity. Organic beings represent the 
Divine Ideal of beauty in the manifold energies proceeding 
from the unity of their organization. Created spirits 
reflect the Divine Beauty in their life and motion, know- 
ledge and love. 

The Divine Beauty shines most perfectly and sublimely 
in the Blessed Trinity, which is the highest development of 
Divine perfection ; in It we can easily detect all the elements 
of beauty, viz. unity and multiplicity, the splendour of per- 
fection and life, the resemblance of the image to the ideal 
or prototype. In fact, there is no greater unity in multi- 
plicity than the perfect identity of the Three Divine 
Persons ; no more perfect unfolding of essential perfection 
and life than the trinitary fecundity in God, wherein the 
whole Divine Essence is communicated the whole wisdom 
of the Father uttered in His Word, the whole love of the 

2o8 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT, 

CHAR iv. Father and the Son poured forth in the Holy Ghost ; and 
there is no greater resemblance of any image to its pro- 
totype, than the resemblance of the Divine Word to the 
Eternal Father. By appropriation, beauty is especially 
attributed to God the Son, because He is the splendour of 
the glory of the Father, the perfect expression of the 
Divine perfection. 


SECT. 76. The Omnipotence of God, 

God" r rwer ^ ^he Possession of absolute power is necessarily 
included in the infinite perfection of God. As this power 
immediately flows from the Divine Essence, its attributes 
correspond with those of the Divine Essence. Hence it is 
without beginning, independent, necessary, self-sufficient, 
self-subsisting and essential to God ; absolutely simple, that 
is, purely active and communicating perfection, without any 
composition in itself; infinite, including all conceivable 
power ; perfectly immutable ; present in all space at all 
times. All this is contained in the words, " I believe in 
God the Father Almighty 

Specific II. The Creeds, the Fathers of the Church, and Theo- 

work and 

character of logians, following Holy Scripture, consider creation out of 
Omnipo- nothing as the specific work of the Divine Omnipotence. 


Created causes, which receive their being from without, 
can only act on something already existing ; they never 
are the total causes of the effects produced. The power 
of God, on the contrary, not only modifies pre-existing 
things, but brings things forth out of nothing as to their 
whole substance, and maintains them in existence in such 
a way that they depend on Him not only for the first, 
but for every, moment of their existence. Without the 
Divine Being no other being would even be conceivable as 
existing. This doctrine is condensed in the Greek word 
iravTOKpaTwp, which, in the Septuagint, the New Testament, 
and the Greek Creeds, takes the place of the Latin omni- 
potens. This latter implies a power to or above all things, 
whereas the former designates a power holding and sup- 

PART I.] The Positive Attributes of God. 209 

porting all things (pmnitenens), and hence ruling all things CHAP. iv. 

j ^- 11 ^i SECT. 76. 

and penetrating all things. 

III. God possesses the power to give existence toExtentof 

., , i Omnipo- 

whatever is possible that is, to whatever does not in- tence. 
volve contradiction. Things intrinsically possible become 
possible extrinsically on account of the Divine Power, 
which is able to transfer them from non-existence to 
existence. " I know that Thou canst do all things " 
(Job xlii. 2) ; " With man this is impossible : but with God 
all things are possible" (Matt. xix. 26). As to the in- 
trinsic possibility of things, which results from the com- 
patibility of their various elements, the Divine Mind alone 
can grasp its extent ; for many things must appear feasible 
to an infinite intellect, which to the finite mind seem simply 
impossible, or indeed have never entered it. " Who is able 
to do all things more abundantly than we desire or under- 
stand, according to the power that worketh in us" 
(Eph. iii. 20). 

The Divine Omnipotence is infinite in itself or sub- 
jectively, and also externally or objectively. Its interior 
infinity is evident ; its objective infinity must be under- 
stood in the sense that no greater power is conceivable 
than the Divine Omnipotence, and that no number, how- 
ever great, of finite productions can exhaust the Divine 
Power. Although the effects produced are finite, still the 
Power which produces them manifests itself as infinite; 
for the creation and preservation of things suppose in the 
Creator an infinite fulness of being or perfection, which is 
also, at the same time, the foundation of the inexhausti- 
bility of the Divine Power. Thus the production of the 
smallest creature points to a Force which rules the very 
essence of things, and on which, therefore, all being 
depends for its existence. 

Omnipotence does not imply the power of producing what God 

/..... * ! cannot do. 

an infinite being, because the notion of a being at once 
infinite and produced is self-contradictory. Although, how- 
ever, God cannot create the infinite, He can and does 
manifest His Omnipotence in communicating His own 
infinity. Such a communication takes place, within, to 
the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity ; without, 


2io A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. iv. to the humanity of Christ, which, through the Hypostatic 
3 - ' Union with the Divine Person, acquires an infinite dignity ; 
likewise to spiritual creatures who, by means of grace and 
glory, are made participators of the infinite beatitude of 
God Himself. Again, God cannot undo the past, because 
to do so would involve a contradiction ; but He can prevent 
or annul all the consequences of actions done, e.g. the con- 
sequences of sin. Furthermore, Omnipotence does not 
imply the power of committing sin, because sin is some- 
thing defective. In like manner the power to suffer, or to 
perform actions involving motion or change in the cause, 
is not included in Omnipotence. 

Relation of IV. The Divine Omnipotence is the source, the founda- 
Omnipo- tion, the root, and the soul of all powers and forces outside 
created God. It is the source from which they spring ; the 

forces. . 1-11 i 1-1 

foundation upon which they rest ; the root which com- 
municates to them their energy ; the soul co-operating 
immediately with them, and intimately permeating their 
innermost being. Thus the Divine Force appears in the 
inorganic world as the principle of all motion ; in the 
organic world as the principle of vital activity ; and, above 
all, in the spiritual world as the principle of intellectual and 
spiritual life. Spirits alone receive their being immediately 
from God ; their life alone cannot be made subservient to 
a higher life ; they alone are able to be so elevated and 
ennobled as to have a share with God in the fruition of His 
own Essence. 

God alone V. The power to produce every possible thing is mani- 

11 festly a perfection proper to God alone, and cannot, even 
supernaturally, be communicated to creatures. Not only 
is the power to create all things peculiar to God, but also 
the power to produce one single thing out of nothing ; 
because such power presupposes in its possessor the infinite 
fulness of being. That, as a matter of fact, no creature has 
co-operated, even as an instrument, in creation is, according 
to the common teaching of theologians, of faith ; that no 
creature can so co-operate is theologically and philoso- 
phically certain, although many difficulties of detail can be 
brought against this doctrine. See, on this special point, 
Kleutgen, Phil., diss., ix., chap, iv., 1005 ; St. Thomas, 
Contra Gentes, 1. ii., c. 21 ; and Suarez, Metaph., disp. 26. 

PART I.] The Positive Attributes of God. 211 


SECT. 77. The Omnipresence of God. 

I. God, the absolute cause of the innermost essence of God present 
created things, is present to them in the most intimate 
manner. He is not only not separated from them by space, 
but He penetrates, pervades, and permeates their very sub- 
stance. The Divine presence in spirits has a character 
exclusively proper to itself. As spirits have no parts and 
fill no space, presence in them necessarily means more than 
coexistence with them in the same place ; it implies a 
penetration of their substance possible only to the simple 
substance of the infinite Author of things. So much is of 
faith. A controversy, however, has arisen as to the manner 
in which God is present in creatures. Theologians of the 
Thomist School, starting from the principle that a cause 
must be in the place where it produces its effect, maintain 
that the contact of God with creatures consists formally in 
creative action. On the other hand, the followers of Duns 
Scotus and others, admitting the possibility of action from 
a distance, maintain that God is not necessarily present to 
creatures because He is their Creator ; and, consequently, 
these theologians describe the Divine Omnipresence as 
formally consisting in the absence of local distance be- 
tween the substance of the Creator and that of the creature. 
The Thomist view is more logical and attractive ; the 
Scotist view reduces the existence of God in creatures to 
a simple coexistence. 

The existence of God in creatures must not be con- bi : tn t 
ceived as a mingling of the Divine and the created substances, with them. 
for this would be opposed to the Divine Simplicity ; nor 
as an inclusion of the Creator in the creature, for this would 
be against His Immensity. God's presence in the existing 
world is not a limit to His Omnipresence, for He embraces 
all possible worlds. As God is in all things, so all things 
are in God, not, indeed, filling and pervading or even 
touching the Divine Substance, but upheld by it as their first 
principle. Things are contained in God because by His 
virtual Immensity He fills all space, and because by His 
Omnipotence He actually upholds all existence. 

II. Holy Scripture insists more on the extension of the sv'ur 

212 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. iv. Divine Omnipresence, which corresponds to the Divine 
E fll 77 ' infinity and immensity, than on the intensive presence 
above described. Still, this also is clearly pointed out in 
many places, especially in Eph. iv. 6 : " One God and 
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all " 
(ETTI iravrwv, ceu 8m iravrwv, KOI iv TTCKTIV). Cf. Rom. xi. 36, 
and Col. i. 16, 17 ; Heb. iv. 12, 13. 

Tradition. Since the power of penetrating the innermost substance 
of spirits is an attribute proper to the Divine Omnipresence, 
the Fathers insist particularly upon this point. In the 
controversy with the Arians and with the Macedonians, 
the indwelling of the Holy Ghost or of the Son in created 
spirits is often brought forward as an evident proof of the 
Divinity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (see Petav., 
De Trin., 1. ii., c. 15, n. 7 sqq. ; Thomassin, De Deo, 1. v., 
c. 5). Many Fathers and Theologians touch upon this 
point when dealing with the question how far the devil 
can penetrate the human soul (Peter Lomb., II. Sent., dist. 
8, p. ii.). They hold that the innermost recesses of the 
soul are a sanctuary to which God alone has access, into 
which the devils cannot introduce their substance, and 
which is accessible to them only in as far as the soul 
conforms itself to their evil suggestions. 

st. Gregory HI. The whole doctrine of the Divine Omnipresence 
Omni- has been summed up by St. Gregory the Great in the 
formula, "God is in all things by essence, power, and 
presence " Dens est in omnibus per essentiam, potentiam, et 
prcesentiam (Mor. in Job, 1. ii., c. 8), which St. Thomas 
expounds as follows: "God is in all things by His power, 
inasmuch as all things are subject to His power ; He is in 
all things by His presence, inasmuch as all things are bare 
and open to His eyes ; He is in all things by His Essence, 
inasmuch as He is in all things as the cause of their being " 
(/., q. 8, art. 3). 

Degrees of IV. Just as the soul, although present in all parts of the 
sence in body, does not act with the same energy in every part, so 
also God, though present in all creatures, does not fill them 
all with the same perfection nor act in all to the same 
extent. The supreme degree of Divine presence is attained 
in the supernatural life of the soul and of the blessed. 

PABT I.] The Positive Attributes of God. 213 

The indwelling of God in the sanctified soul fills it with CHAP. iv. 
a new life, of which God Himself is the soul : the creature SECT-77 ' 
participates in the life of the Creator. God is present in 
the rest of the world as in His kingdom, but in the sancti- 
fied soul as in His temple, where He manifests His glory 
and majesty (i Cor. iii. 17). Creatures not so filled with 
the Divine presence, e.g. the souls of sinners and the damned 
in hell, appear, as it were, far from God, cast out and 
abandoned, although even in them also God exists and 
manifests His power and sovereign dominion. 

V. The active presence of God in all things created God's Om- 
extends, of course, to all space and every place. Created "n p s p^elnd 
spirits, who are not bound by the limits of space, occupy m 
a portion of space, inasmuch as they are not distant from 
it ; but the space is not dependent on them. God, on the 
contrary, is not only not far from any space, but so fills 
it that its very existence is dependent on His active pre- 
sence. The Divine presence so encompasses all things and 
all space that it is impossible for God to act at a distance, 
while, at the same time, His presence enables distant things 
to act upon each other. God, the unchangeable, is the 
principle of all change ; and God, the immovable, is the 
principle of all motion. From the nature of the presence 
of God we gather that it must extend to all times as well 
as to all things. If the possibility and existence of crea- 
tures depend on the active power of God, their continued 
duration or time depends on it also, so that whenever a 
thing exists or is possible, God is present. Holy Scripture 
calls God "the King of ages" (i Tim. i. 17), distinguishing 
Him from the kings of this world, who rule but for a time, 
and to whose power time is not subject, as it is to the 
power of God. 

214 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 


SECT. 78. The Divine Life in general Its Absolute 

CHAP. v. I. FAITH and reason alike teach us that God is a living 

SECT. 78. 

God, that His life is spiritual, personal, and pure not 

God a living . ,., ,. ...... / ,- -n 

Cod. mixed with other forms of life as the life of man is. But 

the attribute of life applies to God only analogically. Life, 
as we conceive it, is a mixed and not a simple perfection ; 
it involves a transition from potentiality to actuality ; the 
immanent activity proceeds from the substance, and remains 
in it to perfect it. Still it is not essential to immanent 
activity to commence in the substance and to subsist in it 
as in its subject ; the immanence is greatest when the 
action is identical with the substance. Hence life is attri- 
buted to God analogically, but possessed by Him in the 
most proper and eminent manner. 

God u Life. II. Unlike creatures which possess life, God is Life. It 
is not imparted to Him from without, but He imparts it to 
all things, and is the fundamental life, the life of all that 
lives. In this respect He is eminently the supreme Spirit 
(" the God of the spirits of all flesh," Num. xvi. 22), inas- 
much as we conceive spirits as having independent life 
and as infusing life. Created pure spirits bear to God a 
relation somewhat similar to the relations of the body to 
the soul, their life-activity being caused, preserved, and 
moved by the Divine Life. Hence the dictum : " God is 
the life of the soul, as the soul is the life of the body " 
(Deus vita anima sicut anima carporis), 

The Old Testament speaks of the Living God, whereas 

PABT I.] The Divine Life. 215 

the New Testament calls Him the Life. Cf. John xiv. 6 ; CHAP. v. 
I John v. 20 ; John i. 4, and v. 26 ; Acts xvii. 22 sqq. ; etc. SE fIi 79- 
III. A proper and adequate expression of the specific God's life 
character of the Divine Life as the highest form of spiritual the term 

/ t T T t T T 1 r r i i Wisdom. 

life, is Wisdom. Holy bcnpture very frequently thus 
designates the life of God, and uses the name of Wisdom 
as a proper name of God, even oftener than that of Being 
(6 wv) and Living. The appellation of Wisdom is most 
appropriate, because Wisdom designates the perfection of 
spiritual life as manifested in the acts of the intellect and 
of the will, and in external actions. Hence Wisdom im- 
plies the most perfect knowledge of the highest truth, and 
the most perfect love of the highest good, as also a just 
appreciation of all other things in reference to the Supreme 
Truth and Goodness, and, consequently, the capability of 
ordering and disposing all things in accordance with their 
highest ideal and last end. When speaking of creatures, 
we give the name of Wisdom, not to the sum-total of their 
living activities, but only to the highest of them ; in God, 
on the contrary, in Whom there is no multiplicity or 
division, Wisdom expresses the full perfection of Life. 

SECT. 79. The Divine Knowledge in general. 

I. That God possesses most perfect intellectual know- God an 
ledge is contained in the very idea of the Divinity. The Bemg. gen 
First Principle of the order of the universe, the Source and 
Ideal of all knowledge, must necessarily be possessed of 
wisdom. " O Lord, Who hast the knowledge of all things " 
(Esth. xiv. 14); "The Lord knoweth all knowledge" 
(Ecclus. xlii. 19 ; i Kings ii. 3 ; Rom. xi. 33 ; Col. ii. 3 ; 
Ecclus. i. i, 5, etc.). 

II. God is His knowledge: in Him there is no real God isHis 
distinction between the faculty and the act of knowing, 

nor between these two and their object. Even when His 
knowledge extends to things outside Him, the adequate 
reason for such extension of the Divine knowledge is in 
God Himself; nothing external affects, moves, determines 
or influences it in any way. This is of faith, because it is 
evidently contained in the simplicity and independence of 
God, and because it is formally expressed in the proposi- 

2 1 6 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. tions : God is Wisdom, God is Light. As God is the Light 
SEcr_ 79 . of . ^ other S pj r j ts ( the light- w hich enlighteneth every 

man," John i.), so also is He Himself the sun, in the light 
of which He sees all things (Ecclus. xlii. 16). 

Mode of III. The mode of action of the Divine knowledge is 

essentially different from that of the knowledge of creatures. 
The created mind knows itself as it knows other things ; 
the knowledge of its own being is only the starting-point, 
and a condition of the rest of its knowledge, not its source 
and root. God, on the contrary, possesses in His Essence 
an object which itself determines and produces His know- 
ledge from within, and is sufficient to fill the Divine Intel- 
lect and to extend the Divine knowledge to all things 
knowable. The Divine Essence can act this part in the 
process of the Divine knowledge, because it is intimately 
and essentially present to the Divine Intellect nay, is 
identical with it; because, again, it presents to the infinite 
faculty of knowing an adequate object, an object of infinite 
perfection ; and, lastly, because, inasmuch as it is the essen- 
tial principle of all that exists outside God, the perfect know- 
ledge of it implies the perfect knowledge of all that is or can 
be. The knowledge which God has of things outside Him, 
does not presuppose in these things an existence indepen- 
dent of the Divine knowledge ; on the contrary, God knows 
them as caused and produced by His knowledge. In fact, 
things exist because God, seeing their possibility in His 
own Essence, decrees that they shall exist either by an 
immediate act of His Omnipotence or through the agency 
of created causes. In the language of the Schoolmen this 
doctrine is briefly expressed by saying that the Divine 
Essence is the " formal object" of the Divine knowledge, 
and that all other things knowable are its " material object." 
This point of doctrine (viz. that the Divine Essence is the 
formal and primary object of God's knowledge, and that 
other things knowable are its material and secondary object) 
is a development of defined dogmas, and is commonly 
taught by theologians. St. Thomas (/., q. 14, a. 8), puts it 
as follows : " The things of nature stand midway between 
God's knowledge and ours. We receive our knowledge 
from natural things, of which God, through His knowledge, 

PABT L] The Divine Life. 217 

is the cause : wherefore, as natural things precede our know- CHAP, v 
ledge of them and are its measure, so God's knowledge E fl_ 79 ' 
precedes them, and is their measure ; just as a house stands 
midway between the knowledge of the architect who de- 
signed it and the knowledge of him who knows it only after 
seeing it built." 

IV. By reason of its identity with the Divine Essence, God's 
the Divine knowledge possesses the highest possible perfec- infinitely 
tion. It is in a unique manner an intellectual knowledge, pe 
because it attains its object from within, from its Essence 

and Nature, unlike human knowledge which penetrates to 
the essence and nature of things only by observing their 
external phenomena. It is in a unique manner an intuitive 
knowledge, because it adequately comprehends its object 
in a single act, free from abstractions, conjectures, or ratio- 
cinations ; it comprehends all possible beings in the very 
foundation of their possibility ; things are present to the 
Divine intention before they are present to themselves. 
Moreover, the Divine knowledge is comprehensive and 
adequate, inasmuch as it grasps the inmost essence of 
things in the most exhaustive manner. Lastly, it is an 
eminently certain and unerring knowledge : uncertainty 
and error being incompatible with intuition and compre- 
hensiveness of knowledge. All these attributes are of faith, 
because implied in the infinite perfection of the Divine 
intellect, and are clearly set forth in many texts of Holy 
Scripture. "The eyes of the Lord are far brighter than 
the sun, beholding round about all the ways of men and 
the bottom of the deep, and looking into the hearts of men, 
into the most hidden parts" (Ecclus. xxiii. 28; cf. Job xxviii. 
24; Heb. iv. 13, etc.). 

V. The negative attributes of the Divine perfection Negative 

r attributes 

shine with an especial splendour in the Divine know- f God's 

1 r _ Knowledge- 

ledge. Thus God's knowledge is intrinsically necessary 
that is, it necessarily embraces whatever is knowable. 
Although, as regards contingent objects, this necessity is 
only hypothetical, still it cannot be said that God's know- 
ledge of things contingent is itself contingent, because such 
an expression might imply an indeterminaticn on the part 
of the Divine knowledge. It is absolutely simple : God 

218 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. knows Himself and all things outside Him in one indivisible 
act. It is infinite in intensity as well as in extension that 
is, it is the deepest and the richest knowledge ; nothing is 
hidden from it ; it embraces an infinite object in the Divine 
Essence, and an infinite number of things in the domain 
of possibility. It is immutable : nothing can be added to 
or withdrawn from it. It is eternal, having neither be- 
ginning nor end nor succession, not only as regards truths 
of an eternal character, but also as to things temporary 
which are eternally visible to the eternal eye of God. 
The Divine Immensity and Omnipresence add another per- 
fection to the science of God, inasmuch as they bring all 
things knowable into immediate contact with the Divine 
Intellect. Lastly, the Divine knowledge is in a special 
manner incomprehensible and inscrutable to the created 
mind, notably to the mind in its natural state. We are 
unable to comprehend not only its depth and breadth, but 
also the manner in which the Divine Intellect lays hold 
of things external and renders them present to itself with- 
out being in the least dependent on them or waiting for 
them to come into existence ; and, further, we are unable 
to understand how He sees, in one and the same act, cause 
and effect, and how the intuition of a free agent involves 
the intuition of its free acts. A cognition of this kind 
is utterly beyond and above the methods of finite cognition, 
and indeed is partly in direct opposition to the laws 
which regulate created knowledge. This ought to be 
kept well in view in order to meet the difficulties connected 
with this question. Cf. Ecclus. xlii. 16 sqq. ; St. Aug., De 
Trin. y 1. xv., c. 7 ; St. Peter Damian, Ep., iv., c. 7, 8. 
Godom- VI. The absolute perfection of the Divine knowledge 

is expressed by the term Omniscience: God knows all 
that is knowable, and as far as it is knowable. The 
domain of the Divine Science comprises, therefore, (i) God 
Himself; (2) the metaphysically possible ; (3) the 
things created by God ; (4) the motions and modes of 
being of creatures as caused either by God or by creature? 
themselves ; (5) especially the free activity of creatures, 
the knowledge of which constitutes the exalted and incom- 
prehensible privilege of the Divine Omniscience. 

PART I.] The Divine Life. 219 

As to (4) we should bear in mind that the activity CHAP, v 
of creatures, with all its actual and possible modifica- 
tions, is as much dependent on God as their substance 
is. God knows this activity from within, from its very 
cause ; whereas the created mind only knows it from its 
external manifestations or effects. We shall treat of (5) in 
the following section. 

SECT. 80. God's Knowledge of tJie Free Actions of His 


The difficulties which the Divine knowledge of free 
actions presents to our mind, arise from our inability to 
understand the peculiar process of God's cognition, 
which is indeed more peculiar in this than in other 
matters. A complete solution of the difficulties is im- 
possible. All that we can hope to do is to remove 
apparent contradictions by clearly pointing out the differ- 
ence between the way in which God knows, and the way 
in which the created mind acquires its knowledge. It is 
not without a purpose that Revelation so often insists upon 
the knowledge of the free actions of man as the exclusive 
and wonderful privilege of God, a knowledge in which 
the Divine Light illumines the most secret and dark 

The knowledge which God possesses of the free actions 
of His creatures is distinguished by the three following 
characteristics : (i) God knows these actions in them- 
selves, as they are in the mind and heart of their author, 
from within and so far a priori ; (2) God has this know- 
ledge from all eternity that is, before the actions take 
place ; (3) in the Divine Intellect the knowledge of free 
actions is logically preceded by the knowledge that, 
under certain conditions and circumstances dependent on 
the Divine decree, such actions would take place. The 
above three characteristics are termed respectively (i) 
" searching of hearts," (KapSioyvwata) ; (2) " knowledge of 
future free acts ; " (3) " knowledge of conditional acts " 
(scientia conditionatorum o>v futuribilium}. At each of these 
three degrees of Divine knowledge our difficulties increase ; 
as far, however, as they are soluble, they find a solution in 

22O A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. a correct exposition of the first point, especially of the 

B ' relation of causality between God and created spirits. 
God's I. It is of faith (i) that God knows the free actions of 

of Free Acts His creatures from within, before they are manifested with- 
out, exactly as they exist in the consciousness of the free 
agent, and even more adequately than the free agent himself 
knows them ; (2) that God alone possesses this knowledge ; 
(3) that, as God knows external free actions from within 
that is, from the inner disposition of the agent, so also does 
He know the inner free act from and in its principle, which 
is the free will of the creature ; and this free will is entirely 
the work of God, and can have no tendency, no motive, no 
act independently of its Creator. 

God knows i. As Scripture proofs of I, we select the following texts : 
frotifwTthin. " The eyes of the Lord are far brighter than the sun, be- 
holding round about all the ways of men, and the bottom 
of the deep, and looking into the hearts of men, into 
the most hidden parts " (Ecclus. xxiii. 28). " The Lord 
searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the thoughts of 
minds " (I Paral. xxviii. 9). " For Thou only knowest the 
hearts of the children of men " (2 Paral. vi. 30). " The 
heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who 
can know it ? I, the Lord, Who search the heart and prove 
the reins : Who give to every one according to his way, 
and according to the fruit of his devices " (Jer. xvii. 9, 10). 
Cf. Acts i. 24 ; and xv. 8). " The Lord hath looked from 
heaven ; He hath beheld all the sons of men. . . . He Who 
has made the hearts of every one of them, Who under- 
standeth all their works " (Ps. xxxii. 13-15). 
God alone 2. As to the exclusiveness of this knowledge, Holy 

so knows 

them. Scripture indeed speaks mostly of the hearts of men as 
being hidden from other men. The emphatic expressions 
used must, however, according to the unanimous teaching 
of the Fathers, be also applied to the angels, to whom the 
thoughts of men and of other angels are also imperviable. 
Cf. Suarez, De Angelis, 1. ii., c. 21. This doctrine involves 
the important consequence, that the devil can no more 
know whether the tempted consent to temptation than he 
can force them to consent. 

3. Creatures and their activity, including their free 

PART!] The Divine Life. 221 

activity, are intrinsically dependent on God : that is, CHAP. v. 

L i r J J SECT. 80. 

they cannot act unless God moves and co-operates 

T , ,. . . i i-. f How God 

with them. Hence free actions appear to the Eye of knows them 
God as the course of a motion originated and supported 
by Him : good actions run the course which He in- 
tended ; bad actions deflect from it. Consequently, God 
sees the free actions of His creatures, like their other 
actions, not as independent external manifestations, but in 
their origin and root that is, in the free will and its activity 
of which He is the Creator and Conservator. Thus the 
action of the creature does not enlighten the Divine Intel- 
lect ; but, on the contrary, on account of its dependence 
on God, the action is itself enlightened by the Divine Mind. 
Now, it must be remembered that God knows all effects by 
His knowledge of their causes, a knowledge which pene- 
trates to their uttermost capabilities. He therefore knows 
the actual determinations of free will as they are elicited 
by the free will dependent on, and moved by, Him. This 
knowledge, therefore, is not inferred from the previous 
state of the will, or from the motives communicated to it 
by God ; for if such a conclusion could be drawn, there 
would be a necessary connection between the previous 
disposition of the will and the subsequent determination, 
and consequently no freedom. The formal objective reason 
(ratio formalis objective?) why God sees the free determina- 
tion is the dependence of the free will on God. 

All schools of Theology agree in this explanation 
of the manner in which God knows the free actions of 
creatures. Some, however, lay too much stress on the 
point that God knows the free actions in and through His 
action on the will ; while others give too much prominence 
to the idea that the free actions are known by God in 
themselves, as they proceed from the created will. But 
both parties agree that the first description can be applied 
without restriction only to the knowledge of good actions ; 
and that the second description applies, without reserve, 
only to bad actions, which, in as far as they are bad, do 
not proceed from God at all, but from the created will. iedg e S o"fr!e 

This explanation enables us to see how the knowledge not'ci^n 
which God has of free actions does not interfere with their frdom! r 

222 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. freedom. The free will of the creature indeed determines 
SECT^SO. an( j causes an object o f the Divine knowledge, but not the 

knowledge itself. On the contrary, God is determined by 
His own Essence to the knowledge of the free acts in 
question. His knowledge proceeds from Himself; as 
Creator and Conservator He contemplates in the same act 
the substance of the creature, its energies and faculties, the 
impulse by which He enables it to act, and all the actions 
that actually result, or may result, from this impulse. 
Hence the reason why God knows the free actions of His 
creatures is the relation of causality and dependence be- 
tween Creator and creature. God, however, does not 
determine free actions in the same manner as He deter- 
mines other actions of creatures. Just as the self-determi- 
nation of the will is consequent upon the causal influence 
of God, so also is it known to God by reason of the same 
influence. God, therefore, knows the free actions of His 
creatures in His own Essence, the adequate knowledge 
of which includes the perfect knowledge of all things 
dependent on it. 

If this be rightly understood, the following proposition 
will also be clear : " God's certain knowledge of the free 
determination of the will is not the cause of this determina- 
tion ; nor is the determination of the will the reason why 
God knows it." The fact that a free determination takes 
place is merely a condition of God's knowledge of it ; 
nevertheless, it is a necessary condition necessary in order 
that God, by means of His causal influence, may extend 
His knowledge to that particular determination of the will. 
St. John This doctrine is thus expressed by St. John Damascene, 

Damascene. Contra Manich., c. 7^ : " The foreknowing power of God 
has not its cause in us ; but it is because of us that He 
foresees what we are about to do : for if we were not about 
to do the things, God could not have foreseen them, 
because they were not going to be. The foreknowledge 
of God is true and infallible indeed ; but it is not the cause 
why we do certain things : on the contrary, because we are 
The Divine about to do certain things, God foreknows them." 
ledge of w II. Like all other Divine knowledge, the knowledge of 

Frictions, the free actions of creatures is eternal. Hence God knows 

PART L] The Divine Life. 223 

the free actions of His creatures before they are performed, CHAP. v. 
and knows them even better than the creatures themselves SE ^i 8 - 
do. He further contemplates them as perpetually present 
with the reality they acquire when accomplished in the 
course of time. The Vatican Council (sess. iii. c. i) says: 
"All things are bare and open to His eyes, even the 
things which will take place by the free action of creatures." 
Prescience of this kind is exclusively proper to God, a 
touchstone of Divinity. Cf. Ps. cxxxviii. I sqq. ; Ecclus. 
xxxix. 24, 25 ; and xxiii. 28, 29. "Show the things that 
are to come hereafter, and we shall know that ye are gods " 
(Isai. xli. 22, 23). Every one of the many prophecies con- 
tained in Holy Writ is a proof of the Divine Foreknow- 
ledge. " Every prophet is a proof of the Divine Foreknow- 
ledge " " Praescientia Dei tot habet testes quot habet 
prophetas" (Tertull., C. Marcioii). 'St. Augustine (Ad 
Simplicium, 1. ii., q. ii., n. 2) gives a classical description 
of the way in which God sees future things as present. 

God's Foreknowledge must be eternal because all God's For* 
that is in God is necessarily eternal. Besides, if God St ge 
knew the free actions of His creatures only in time, the 
decrees of His Providence ought to be made in time 
also. The possibility of an eternal Foreknowledge is 
evident from the a priori nature of the knowledge, for God 
knows future things in their eternal cause. Further, He 
contemplates the future as actually present, because to 
Him there is no time ; things temporal stand before His 
undivided eternity with their temporal character and are 
seen always as they are when they actually exist. 

The Divine Foreknowledge is an eternal contemplation does not 
and therefore does not interfere with the liberty of the whhivee 
created will. The fact that God sees what we do, no more W ' 
alters the nature of our acts than the fact that they are seen 
or remembered by ourselves or by others. The knowledge 
which God has of free actions is the same before, during, and 
after their performance. Besides, the Divine Knowledge, 
being a priori, apprehends free actions formally as such, 
that is, as proceeding from the will by free determination. 
If it only grasped the action as a material fact, the know- 
ledge would be false or incomplete. Foreknowledge would 

224 -A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. v. only interfere with liberty of action if it supposed a 
E fll_' necessary influence of God on the human will, or if it had 
the character of a conclusion necessarily following from 
given premisses. 

The Divine III. The knowledge of the actions which would be 
O f no a>n- se performed by free agents if certain conditions were fulfilled, 
FreeAaions. cannot be denied to God. It is in itself an unmixed per- 
fection, and, moreover, it is necessary for the perfect ruling 
of the world by Divine Providence. In fact, without such 
knowledge, God could not' frame His decrees concerning 
the government of rational creatures, or, if He did, He 
would deprive them of their liberty (cf. Hurter, De Deo, 
No. 87). 

Scripture. I. Holy Scripture fully supports this doctrine. God being 

asked by David if the men of Ceila would deliver him into 
the hands of Saul, afiswered positively, " They will deliver 
thee." But David having fled, he was not delivered into 
the hands of his enemy (i Kings xxiii. 1-13). See other 
instances of the Divine knowledge of future actions 
dependent on unfulfilled conditions (Jer. xxxviii. 15 sqq.); 
" Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida : for if in 
Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have 
been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in 
sackcloth and ashes" (Matt. xi. 20-23). Cf. Franzelin, 
De Deo, p. 449 sqq. 

Tradition. 2. The Fathers often deal expressly with the present 

questions in connection with Providence. In the contro- 
versies with the Manichaeans and Gnostics, they all admit 
without hesitation that God foreknew the sins which Adam 
and Eve, Saul, Judas, and others would commit under 
given conditions. Not one of these Fathers tries to justify 
God for creating these men, or for conferring dignities upon 
them, on the plea of ignorance of what would happen under 
the circumstances. Cf. the commentaries on Wisd. iv. 
II:" He was taken away lest wickedness should alter his 
understanding, or deceit beguile his soul ; " esp. St. Gregory 
of Nyssa, in the sermon on this text (Opp., torn, ii., pp. 
764-770), and St. Augustine (De Corr. et Gratia, c. viii.). 
(See infra, p. 372, and Vol. II. p. 242.) 

PABT I.] The Divine Life. 225 


SECT. 8 1. The Divine Wisdom in relation to its External SECT. 81. 
Activity The Divine Ideas. 

I. Idea, t>Ea, commonly signifies the mental representa- The Divine 
tion which the artist has of his work (ratio rei faciendce). sidereTas " 
The ideal is the highest conception of a thing. In the theUmVer^e. 
language of the Church, the expressions idea, exemplar, 
forma, species, ttSoe, are often used synonymously. 

1. All the works of God are produced with perfect 
knowledge of what they ought to be, and all are intended 
to represent and manifest the Supreme Being, Beauty, and 
Goodness. Hence all the works of God are works of 
wisdom, or rather works of His wise art. "Thou hast 
made all things in wisdom " (Ps. ciii. 24). " Wisdom is the 
worker of all things" (Wisd. vii. 21). Philosophically and 
theologically this doctrine is expressed as follo.vs : God 
operates ad extra by artistic ideas, and all that is outside 
God is essentially a product and an expression of a Divine 

2. The Ideas of the Divine Wisdom are, however, very The Divine 

1 i-r r i -i i i -i 11 ideas not thc 

different from the ideas which guide the human artist, sameas 
The former are truly creative ideas, modelling not only ideas. 
the external appearance of things, but setting up and 
informing their very essence ; and, being identical with God, 
they have in themselves the power of actuating themselves. 
They are absolutely original ideas, drawn from, and 
identical with, the Divine Substance, essentially proper to 
God and eternal (Ao-yot owo-twSac, rationes aternce}. The 
ideas of the created artist, on the other hand, are only 
relatively original ; even his noblest inspirations are mostly 
determined by external circumstances. 

3. The foundation of the Divine ideas is the infinitely The Divine 
perfect Divine Essence, containing in itself the perfections the fJt^wk- 
of all things, imitable ad extra in finite things, and com- Divine ideas, 
prehended as so imitable by the infinite Intellect of God. 

All beings outside God are, by their essence, a participa- 
tion, i.e. an imperfect copy or imitation, of the Divine 
Being : hence their types or ideas must exist in the Divine 
Essence, and must be the object of the contemplation of the 
Divine Mind. Moreover, because of the simplicity of the 



A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 


SECT. 81. 

How many 
ideas in 

No ideal of 

The Divine 
Wisdom as 
and Law- 

Divine Substance, the ideas, their foundation and the mind 
contemplating them, are all one ; and therefore created 
things are contained in God, not only as in an abstract 
mental representation, but as in their real model and type. 

4. How many ideas are there in God? Materially 
there is only one idea in Him, as there is only one ideal 
for all things together as well as for each in particular. 
In His absolutely simple and infinitely rich Essence, God 
contemplates in one idea the type of all possible imitations 
ad extra. Formally speaking, however, He has as many 
ideas as He knows to be possible representations of His 

5. Although God knows evil, still there is no ideal of 
evil in the Divine Mind. For evil is not a positive forma- 
tion, but a difformity or deformation of things ; it is not 
a work of the Divine Wisdom nor a work of God at all. 

6. The creative power of the Divine ideas enters into 
action only when God decrees so by an act of His Will. 

II. i. It is essentially a work of the Divine Wisdom 
to give order, harmony, and organization to the things 
representing the Divine Ideas ; to unite them in one 
harmonic whole, in which each holds its proper place, and 
each and all tend to the end proposed by the Creator. 
Holy Scripture calls this ordaining operation a measuring, 
numbering, and weighing : " Thou hast ordered all things 
in measure, and number, and weight" (Wisd. xi. 21). 

2. A further attribute of the Divine Wisdom is to 
determine the ideal perfection to which creatures should 
tend as to their ultimate object, and to establish the laws 
by which this object is to be aimed at and attained. The 
laws that regulate the movements of creatures are im- 
planted in their nature, and are, as it were, identified with 
their substance, thus offering an image of the eternal law 
in God. To rational creatures especially, the Divine 
Wisdom prescribes laws for the right direction of their 
actions towards their end. These laws are " written in the 
heart" (Rom. ii. 14, 15), and read there by means of the 
light of reason. The Divine Wisdom appears here as 
"doctrix discipline Dei," as a guide and educator, leading 
man on to the participation of the All-Wise life in God. 

PAET I.] The Divine Life. 227 

On the relation between the eternal law in God and the CHAP v. 
natural law, see St. Thomas, I* 2*, q. 91, a. 2. 

III. The infinite perfection of the Divine Wisdom The Divine 
involves the knowledge of all the ways and means of Ruie^.d S a.. 
realizing the ultimate object of creation. God knows 
which acts and operations should be produced or prevented, 
and He knows how to direct every action and operation 
to its end, so that nothing upsets His plans, but everything 
is made subservient to them. In this sense the spirit of 
eternal wisdom is called Travrn-'icrKoirov and aicwAurov, over- 
seeing all things, unimpeded (Wisd. vii. 23), and of Wisdom 
itself it is said : " She reacheth from end to end mightily, 
and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisd. viii. i). The per- 
fection of the Divine Providence is best seen in its dealings 
with the free will of man. Freedom of action, including 
freedom to commit sin, would undermine the stability of 
any but an infinite Providence. God, however, Who fore- 
knows the future and its contingencies, Who has the power 
to bring about or to prevent even the free actions of His 
creatures, and -to Whose Will all things are subservient 
God is able to direct evil actions to good ends, and thus 
to attain His own wise objects. 

SECT. 82. The Nature and Attributes of the Divine Will 
considered generally. 

I. That God has a Will, and a most perfect Will, is^o^ hasa 
evident to faith and reason alike. The will is an essential 

of a living spirit ; without it there could be in God no 
power, no beatitude, no sanctity, or justice. 

II. The fundamental property of the Divine as opposed Ood'swnii 
to the created will, is its real identity with the Divine substance. 
Substance. " Will," says St. Bonaventure (in I. Sent., dist. 

45, a. i), "is in God in a more proper and complete manner 
than in us. For in us it is a faculty distinct from our sub- 
stance and actually distant from its object ; whereas in the 
Divine Will there is no difference whatsoever between 
substance, power, act and object." Hence in God there 
can be no successive acts of will, no desires, or tendencies. 
The essential act of the Divine Will consists in the delight 
with which God embraces and contains Himself as the 

228 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. Highest Good. This delight extends to things outside 
SECT - g2 ' Him, only, however, in order to bring them into existence ; 
not to derive from them any increment of perfection or 
happiness. In itself the act of the Divine Will is posses- 
sion and fruition ; in its relation to external goods it can 
but freely distribute its own abundance. 

NO external HI. An immediate consequence of the identity of God's 
e Divine" Will with His Substance, is that with Him there can be 
waL no question of a cause moving the will, or of anything 

influencing it from without : the uncreated act, by which 
all things are created, cannot be subject to such influences. 
It is indeed essential to the Divine Will, even more than 
to the will of creatures, to act for an object, and conse- 
quently to determine Itself to the choice and disposition 
of appropriate means to attain the intended object. The 
object, however, is not a cause moving the Divine Will, 
but the reason why the Divine Will moves Itself. In God, 
the first motive and the ultimate object of His Will are 
really identical with His Will ; they are His Essence con- 
sidered as the supreme objective Good. All subordinate 
motives and objects are dependent on the primary one ; 
they are only motives and objects because God wills them 
to be such. Hence subordinate motives and ends do not 
act on the Divine Will in itself; they are but the reason 
why It directs Itself upon some particular object, and 
orders or disposes it in some particular manner. The free 
actions of creatures are but circumstances in creation, 
brought about or permitted by God Himself, and of which 
He takes notice for His own sake ; they are by no means 
external causes moving the Divine Will to action. 

The supreme goodness of the Divine Will is the reason 
and the rule determining the direction of the Divine voli- 
tion to definite objects. God loves His own goodness and 
therefore He wills its glorification and communication ad 
extra, and determines by what means these objects are 
to be attained. Thus the love of God for Himself causes 
Him to will things outside Him, just as the desires and 
inclinations of our will cause us to act ; with this difference, 
however, that in God the satisfaction of such desires is 
neither a want nor a cause of new volitions. 

PAET I.] The Divine Life. 229 

The doctrine here stated is common among the theo- CHAP. v. 
logians, although they differ in the way of expressing it. 
See Ruiz, De Voluntate Dei, disp. xv. 

IV. Another consequence of the identity of Will and The relation 

* J between the 

Substance in God is the peculiar relation between the Dmm; wa 
Divine Will and its objects, and between the objects them- objects, 
selves. The love of self is, with creatures, a condition and 
the starting-point of all their volitions. As, however, the 
objects of their desires exist outside and independently of 
them, and as their perfection and felicity are themselves 
dependent on the possession of external goods, the love 
of self is not a sufficient object for all their volitions ; it is 
itself but part of higher aims and objects. But God is 
Himself the proximate and principal object of His volition. 
All other things the Divine Will attains without being in 
any way determined or perfected by them ; they are either 
not intended for themselves at all, or at most as subordi- 
nate ends. "The Lord hath made all things for Himself" 
(Prov. xvi. 4). God has created the world' "of His own 
goodness, not to increase His happiness or to acquire but 
to manifest His goodness by means of the good things 
which He bestows on creatures " (Vatican Council, sess. 
iii., ch. i). 

The manner in which God's Love of Self determines 
His love of creatures is as follows : 

1. As the Infinite Good is most communicable, fruitful, 
and powerful, the love of it implies love of communicating it. 

2. Again, as it is the Supreme Beauty, and is capable 
of being copied and multiplied, the love of it excites a love 
of reproducing it. 

3. The supreme dignity and majesty of the highest 
Good is worthy of honour and glory ; hence God is induced 
to create beings able to give Him honour and glory. 

Thus all things find the motive of their existence in the 
Divine Self-Love ; and in it, too, they find their ultimate 
object. They are made in order to participate in the 
goodness of God, and to cling to Him with love ; to repro- 
duce His beauty, to know and to praise it; to submit to 
His majesty by honouring and serving Him. 

From this genesis and order of God's volitions we infer 

230 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP v. another difference between the manner in which the Divine 
E fll 83 ' Will and the created will bear upon their objects. The 
created will, when willing things as means and instruments 
to other ends, does not value them in themselves, but only 
inasmuch as they are means. God, on the contrary, although 
His creatures are only means to His glory, intends really 
and truly that they should possess the perfections communi- 
cated to them, and He takes pleasure in the goodness, 
beauty, and dignity, which make them copies of the Divine 
ideal ; nay, He offers Himself as the object of their posses- 
sion and fruition. Hence we perceive the benevolence, 
esteem, and appreciation with which God honours the 
goodness and dignity of His creatures. There is no selfish- 
ness on His side and no degradation on the side of crea- 
tures, although they are but means for the glory of 

The Divine V. Another consequence of the identity of Will and 
stls'seif an the Substance in God is that all the positive and negative 
^Divine ' attributes of the Divine Substance must be applied to the 
Substance. Drvi ne Will. It is absolutely independent, simple, infinite, 
immutable, eternal, omnipresent, etc. 

SECT. %-$.The Absolute Freedom of God's Will. 

God loves I. First of all it is certain that liberty of choice cannot 

necessarily, be attributed to all the volitions of the Divine Will. God's 
absolute perfection necessarily includes the absolutely per- 
fect action of His Will, necessarily directed to the Divine 
Essence as the highest good. The necessity of this act 
is even greater than the necessity which proceeds from 
the nature of creatures and compels them to act ; because 
it is founded in, and identical with, the Divine Essence. 
For this very same reason, however, the act of the Divine 
Will includes the perfection essential to acts of the 
will, viz. the acting for an end with consciousness and 
pleasure ; for God knowingly and willingly loves His own 
but is free II. Liberty of choice is attributable to the Divine Will 

in respect to.. ... 

objects only in respect to external things ; and, as these are de- 

outside Him. , . r 

pendent for their existence on a Divine volition, this 

PART I.] The Divine Life. 231 

creative volition itself is in the free choice of God. This CHAP. v. 
is defined by the Vatican Council, " God created the world E ^Il 3 ' 
of freest design" (sess. iii., chap, i), "If any one shall say 
that God did not create with a will free from all necessity, 
but did so as necessarily as He loves Himself; let him be 
anathema " (can. v.). 

1. Holy Scripture fittingly describes the liberty of choice Scripture. 
in God : " Who worketh all things according to the counsel 

of His will" (Eph. i. n); and again, "Who has predes- 
tinated us ... according to the purpose of His Will " 
(i. 5). See also Rom. ix. 18 ; i Cor. xii. n ; John iii. 8. 

2. The following considerations contain the proofs from Reason, 
reason and the solution of difficulties. 

(a.} God is perfectly free to create or not to create beings 
outside of Himself. Such beings are neither necessary 
in themselves nor necessary to the beatitude or perfection 
of God ; they can only serve to his external glory, which, 
however, is not necessary to Him because His essential 
glory is all-sufficient If, indeed, God creates, He must 
do so for His own glory, and it is the love of His own 
glory that moves Him to create. But if He wills not to 
create, He is not bound to intend His external glory. 
The Love of Himself moves Him to create, in as far as it 
appears to Him fitting that He should be glorified by 
creatures and should be enabled to find delight in external 
glory. But there is no necessity here, because God might 
assert his Self-Love in another way, viz. by abstaining 
from producing other beings, and thus proving Himself 
the sole necessary and absolutely self-sufficient Being. 
This consideration gains additional force from the dogma 
that the Trinity is an infinite communication, ad intra, of 
the Divine perfections. 

(&) Again, God is free to create the world with any 
degree of perfection He chooses ; He is not bound to 
create a world of the greatest possible perfection. If He 
is free to create or not to create, He is likewise free to 
create any of the many worlds alike possible and un- 
necessary to Him. Moreover, however perfect a created 
world be conceived, it would always be finite, and there- 
fore a still more perfect one could be conceived. Hence, if 

A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IL 

CHAP, v God was bound to create the most perfect world possible, 
ECT^S. j^^ vvould be unable to create at all, because a world at 
once finite and incapable of higher perfection involves a 
contradiction. All that can be said is this : once God has 
determined upon creating a world, His own moral perfec- 
tion requires that He should realize the idea in a fitting 
manner, and ordain everything to His own glory. Thus 
God is bound by His wisdom and goodness to ordain par- 
ticular things to the ends of the whole world of His choice, 
and the whole world to His own glory. 

(<:.) God is free in His choice of the particular beings 
through which the general object of creation is to be 
attained ; and also in the determination of the position 
which each particular being is to occupy in the universe, 
and in the degree of perfection to be granted to them. 
This principle applies especially to the creation of beings 
of the same kind. No man has a better claim than any 
other to be called into existence or to be distinguished by 
particular gifts. Holy Scripture often mentions this point 
in order to set forth God's absolute dominion over His 
creatures, and over His gifts to them, and to excite the 
gratitude of men for the gifts so freely bestowed upon them 
by the Divine bounty. It ought, however, to be borne in 
mind that, if God favours some creatures with extraordinary 
gifts, He refuses to none the perfections required by their 
nature. "And I went down into the potter's house, and 
behold he was doing a work on the wheel. And the vessel 
was broken which he was making of clay with his hands : 
and turning he made another vessel, as it seemed good in 
his eyes to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to 
me, saying : Cannot I do with you as this potter, O house 
of Israel ? saith the Lord. Behold as clay is in the hand 
of the potter, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 
I will suddenly speak against a nation, and against a king- 
dom, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy it" 
(Jer. xviii. 3-7). Cf. Ecclus. xxxiii. 10 sqq. ; Rom. ix. 
2O sqq. 

The Divme III. Although the Divine volition of finite things is 

volition _ 3 

Atibjectto free from antecedent necessity, it is subject to the necessity 

tonsequent . . 

necessity, consequent upon the Divine wisdom, sanctity, and immu- 

PAET I.] The Divine Life. 233 

tability. Once God has freely decreed certain objects, He CHAP. v. 
is bound, by "consequent necessity," to decree likewise 
all that is necessarily connected as means or otherwise 
with these objects. The older Theologians give to this 
" Willing " of God, regulated by His wisdom, sanctity and 
immutability, the name of voluntas ordinata, in contradis- 
tinction to the voluntas simplex, a willing which has its 
only foundation in the Divine liberty. 

The willing of an end does not always entail the 
necessary willing of particular means. The same end may 
often be attained by various means ; and besides the 
necessary means, others merely useful or ornamental may 
be chosen. Hence the Divine Will, even when acting in 
consequence of a previous decree, has scope left for freedom. 
There is, then, in God a twofold simple volition, viz. the 
willing of ultimate ends and the willing of certain means 
thereto. Yet, this simple willing is not arbitrary that is, 
entirely without reason, and therefore unwise and unholy. 
The wisdom and sanctity of a choice do not always require 
a special reason for the preference given ; it is sufficient 
that there be (i) a general reason for making a choice, (2) 
the consciousness that the choice is really free, and (3) 
the intention to direct the object of the preference to a 
wise and holy end ; and all these conditions are all fulfilled 
in the Divine simple Volition. These notions are important 
on account of their bearing on the difficult question of 

SECT. 84. The Affections (Affectus] of the Divine Will, 

especially Love)- 
I. The Divine perfection excludes all affections which General 

. principle. 

imply bodily activity, excitement of the mind, passivity, 
and, a fortiori, passions which dim the mind and upset 
the will. When speaking of the affections of the Divine 
Will, we consider its acts in as far as they bear on their 
objects in an eminent manner, a relation analogous to that 
which our will bears to its objects when moved by our 

1 "Affections," affectus, irdfhi, are the same as the emotions, but are 
treated by the Schoolmen as belonging either to the sensitive appetite or to 
the will. 

234 <d Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. various feelings. Affections not essentially connected 
^- 4 ' with imperfection, such as love and delight, exist formally 
in God ; other affections, which imply imperfection, or a 
certain unrest, such as fear and sadness, are only improperly 
or metaphorically attributed to Him. In other words, 
God contains formally only such affections as are deter- 
mined by His own Essence. The Divine Will cannot be 
affected by anything external ; hence, if by analogy with 
ourselves we distinguish many affections in God, they ought 
not to be conceived as really distinct or conflicting, but as 
virtually contained in the one act of the Divine Substance. 
Between the affections which have God Himself for their 
immediate object, such as complacency in His goodness, 
love, benevolence, and joy, it is almost impossible to find 
even a virtual distinction. The other Divine affections, 
which have creatures for their object, spring from the 
former, and are ramifications of the Divine Self-Love, 
whataffec- II. With the aid of these principles, it will be possible 
attributable to determine in detail which affections can be attributed to 

lothe Divine , T ^. . TTT-H 

will. the Divine Will. 

Love of what I. The affection most properly attributable to the 

befwiful" Divine Will is delight in what is good and beautiful. The 
primary object of this Divine complacency is the infinite 
Goodness and Beauty of the Divine Essence ; the secondary 
objects are its created representations. From the com- 
placency in what is good, the hatred or abomination of 
what is wicked is inseparable. This affection is connected, 
in created wills, with a feeling of disgust and displeasure, 
increasing with the degree of appreciation of the evil 
attained. This painful sensation, however, is not essential 
to the abomination of evil. It does not exist in God, Who 
knows that by His power and wisdom evil itself is made 
subservient to the ultimate end of creation. 

Henevo- 2. A benevolent inclination towards Himself, the 

Highest Good, and towards the beings which participate 
in His Goodness, is another formal and proper attribute 
of the Divine Will. The contrary affection, viz. hatred or 
malevolence, is impossible in God. Hatred consists in 
wishing some one evil precisely as evil ; it takes pleasure 
in the evil of the person hated, and strives, to a greater 

PABT I.] The Divine Life. 235 

or lesser extent, to destroy the hateful object. Such CHAP. v. 
an affection is not only unworthy of God and incom- - 
patible with His absolute repose and beatitude, but is 
also contrary to the nature of the Divine Will, inasmuch 
as the latter operates on creatures only to communicate 
the Divine Goodness to them. God continues His bene- 
volence to sinners, even when they are damned in hell, for 
He wills their natural good even in hell, and does not 
begrudge them happiness ; He wills their punishment only 
inasmuch as by it the order of the whole of creation, of 
which the sinners are members, is maintained ; and the 
sinners themselves receive the sole good available to them, 
viz. the forced submission to the order of God's universe. 
When Scripture speaks of God's hatred of sin, or uses 
similar expressions, the " hatred of what is wicked " ought 
always to be understood, and not mere malevolence. 

3. Other affections formally attributable to the Divine ^^ 
Will are joy and delight in God's infinite Beauty and Good- 
ness, as enjoyed by Himself or shared by His creatures. 
Pain and sadness, on the contrary, are affections entirely 
incompatible with the repose and happiness of the Divine 
Will, and are only metaphorically applicable to God. The 
same is true of pity, the noblest kind of sadness. God 
acts, indeed, as if He felt pity ; but, although the effect is 
there, the affection is wanting. The desire for things not 

yet possessed is likewise impossible in God. 

4. If hatred and sadness can find no room in the Not Hope 

TV or r> 

Divine Will on account of the imperfections they imply, Anger or 

J Repentance 

much more must affections like hope and fear, respect and 
admiration, anger and repentance be excluded. Holy 
Scripture hardly ever attributes hope or fear to God, but 
often anger and repentance. This way of speaking is 
adopted in order to make the actions of God intelligible 
to the reader. God acts as we conceive an angry man 
would do under the same circumstances. 

III. Love is foremost among the Divine affections ; it GO iu Love. 
is the type upon which all His other affections are modelled. 
God is Love, all Love, and Love pure and simple ; what- 
ever is against love is against the Nature of God, and is 
essentially excluded from Him ; whatever is according to 

236 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. love, is according to the inclination and disposition of the 
Divine Nature. Hence the meaning of the expressions : 
" God, Whose nature is goodness " (St. Leo), and " God 
is charity (ayoTrij)," I John iv. 8. Love, caritas, ayenrrj, 
and bonitas here must be taken as expressing benevolent 
love, by which we wish well to other beings just as we do 
to ourselves. Love, as here described, is indeed foremost 
among, and characteristic of, all Divine affections ; but it 
is not their living root and their real principle. This is 
Love only in as far as by love we understand the com- 
placency which God finds in the infinite Goodness of His 
Essence, and which takes the form of the noblest kind of 
love, charity. 

God's love IV. God's benevolent love of His creatures is charac- 

of creature*. 

tenzed by the following properties : 

Benevolent. i. God's benevolent love of creatures actually existing 
is, in substance, His love of Himself freely directed towards 
determinate beings which receive their existence in virtue 
of His Love. 

Gratuitous. 2. It is a gratuitous love, freely bestowed without any 
claim on the part of the creature, and without any profit 
on the part of God. 

whseand 3. By reason of its origin in the Divine Wisdom and 

Self-Love, God's love of creatures is essentially wise and 
holy, directed towards their salvation, and necessarily sub- 
ordinating them to the highest good. It is, therefore, 
infinitely different from a blind and weak tenderness, which 
would sacrifice to the capricious desires of creatures their 
own salvation and the honour of God. Such tenderness is 
unworthy of God ; it would be impure love, not deserving 
the name of charity. Holiness is an essential element in 
pure love, and if we distinguish pure love from holy love it 
is only in order to point out the absolute gratuity of the 

intinwte. 4. The Divine Love of creatures is eminently intimate. 

It is identical with God's Love of Himself, and embraces 
creatures in their innermost being, and tends to unite them 
with Him in the fruition of His own perfection. Hence 
arises the unitive force proper to Divine Love. The love 
of creatures for each other brings them together, but the 

PART L] The Divine Life. 237 

Love of God for creatures unites the creature to the CHAP. v. 

,, SECT. 84. 


5. The Divine Love is eminently an ecstatic love Ecstatic. 
that is, God causes His Love, and with His Love His 
goodness, to expand and to overflow ad extra, and to 
pervade and replenish His creatures. Humanly speaking, 

it may even be said that, in the Incarnation, God, out of 
love for His creatures, " empties " Himself (Phil. ii. 7), 
inasmuch as, without sacrificing His internal glory and 
absolute honour, He renounces, in His adopted humanity, 
all external glory. The " ecstasis " of the Divine Love aims 
at bringing the beloved creatures into the closest union 
with God ; whence that famous circle of the Divine Love 
described by Dionysius the Areopagite, De Div. Norn., c. iv. 

6. The Divine Love is eminently universal and all- Universal, 
embracing. On the part of God the love is the same for 

each and all its objects, because in the Divine act itself 
there are no degrees. But it manifests itself in various 
degrees, so that, on the part of the beloved objects, more 
love is shown to the better ones than to the less perfect. 
In this respect God loves one object more than another, 
because He has willed the one to be better than the 
other, and has adorned the one with choicer gifts than 
the other. 

7. The Divine Love is eminently fertile and inex- inexham 

., tible. 


8. Lastly, the negative attributes of infinity, immuta- infinite. 
bility, and eternity belong also to the act of Divine Love, 
although its external manifestations are subject to the 
limitation, mutability, and temporality of their objects. 

All the distinguishing properties of the Divine Love 
shine forth most brilliantly in the supernatural " love 
of friendship " which God has for His rational creatures. 
By this supernatural love, He loves them as He loves 
Himself, elevating them to the participation in His own 
beatitude, and giving Himself to them in many ways. It 
is that " charity or love of God " which the New Testa- 
ment chiefly and almost exclusively recommends. 

238 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 


SECT. 85. Moral Perfection of the Divine Will 

NO moral I. In God there can be no moral imperfection, no sin 

God" u or anything approaching thereto. With Him, the impos- 
sibility of sinning or participating in sin is absolute and 
metaphysical, not only because the possibility of sinning 
would destroy His infinite perfection, but especially because 
of the nature of sin. Sin consists in preferring one's self 
to God ; in other words, in opposing personal interests 
to the Supreme Good and giving them preference. But 
such opposition is impossible with God, because His own 
Self and His interests are identical with the Supreme Good. 
This immaculate purity and absolute freedom from all 
sin is termed Sanctity or Holiness, in the sense of the 
classical definition given by the Areopagite : " Holiness 
is purity free from all fault, altogether perfect and spotless 
in every respect." * In order to complete the concept of 
sanctity, it is necessary to add that God is inaccessible to 
sin or to contact with sin, because He positively abominates 
it with an abomination proportionate to the esteem He 
has for the Supreme Good which sin despises that is, with 
an infinite abomination. Hence the Divine purity is 
infinite, and implies an infinite distance between God and 
sin. Holy Scripture frequently insists upon the Divine 
sanctity as here described. " God is faithful and without 
iniquity, He is just and right " (Deut. xxxii. 4) ; " Is God 
unjust (a&fcoc) ? God forbid " (Rom. iii. 5, 6). See, also, 
Rom. ix. 14 ; i John iii. 9 ; Hab. i. 13 ; Ps. v. 5, and xliv. 8. 
God may God's infinite detestation of sin entails the impossibility 

not only of willing sin as an end, but also of intending it 
positively as a means to other ends ; He can only have 
the will to permit sin, and to make use of such permission 
as an occasion to bring about good. To permit sin, when 
able to prevent it, would, indeed, be against moral perfec- 
tion in a created being, because the creature is bound to 
further the honour of God as much as lies in its power, 
and also because it is unable to repair the disorder in- 
herent in sin. God, on the other hand, may dispose of 

1 " Sanctitas est, ut nostro more loquar, ab omni scelere libera et omnino 
perfecta et omni ex parte iminaculata puritas " (De Div. Norn., c. 12). 

Derma sin. 

PART I.] The Divine Life. 239 

His honour as He chooses, not, indeed, by sacrificing it, CHAP. v. 
but by furthering it in any way He pleases, either by __* 
preventing sin or by converting or punishing the sinner. 
Both of these ways manifest God's abomination of sin, 
and are, therefore, independently of other reasons, eligible 
means for the manifestation of His glory. Consequently, 
although sin is always an evil, the permission of sin is, on 
the part of God, a positive good. It may even be said 
that the permission of sin is better than its entire pre- 

When Holy Scripture uses expressions which seem to 
imply that God positively intends evil, they must be under- 
stood in the above sense. Unlike man, who permits evil 
only when he cannot prevent it, God, in His Wisdom and 
power, predetermines the permission of evil and ordains 
it to His ultimate ends. Cf. St. Thorn., i a 2 a ', q. 79: 
" Utrum Deus sit causa peccati." 

II. Positively speaking, the moral perfection of God G e r f e oral ' y 
consists in the essential and immutable direction of His 

Will on Himself as the supreme object of all volition, and 
in the infinite love and esteem of Himself included in this 
act, the perfection of which is enhanced by the fact that 
the highest Good, the ultimate object of all volition, is, for 
the Divine Will, the immediate and only formal object, 
and that all other goods are objects of the Divine Will 
only because and in as far as they are subordinated to the 
highest good. A more pure, exalted, and constant volition 
of what is good cannot be conceived. 

In its positive aspect also the moral perfection of God 
is called Holiness. This name is applied to the moral 
goodness of creatures when considered as a direction of 
the will towards the highest moral object, viz. the absolute 
dignity and majesty of God ; and the designation is the 
more appropriate the more the creature disposes its whole 
life according to the exaltedness of such an object, and 
develops greater purity, energy, and constancy in morals. 
It is, therefore, evident that sanctity is the most, and 
indeed the only, convenient name for the moral perfection 

of God. Godpos- 

III. God's absolute moral perfection necessarily implies vi 

240 A Manual of CatJwlic Theology. [BOOK Ti. 

CHAP. v. the possession of all the virtues of creatures. It is, how- 
ever, evident that many of these cannot exist actually in 
the Creator. Thus, for instance, religion and obedience, 
which imply submission to a higher being ; faith and hope, 
which presuppose a state of imperfection ; and temperance, 
which requires a subject composed of mind and matter, 
are all alike impossible in God. They are only virtually 
contained in the Divine perfection, viz. inasmuch as they 
express esteem for the highest good and for the good order 
of things. Some moral virtues, such as fortitude and meek- 
ness, are metaphorically attributed to God, only to bring 
out the absence of the opposite vices of pusillanimity and 
anger. Those virtues alone belong formally to the moral 
perfection of God which manifest and bring into operation 
the excellence of their subject ; and they belong to Him 
in an eminent manner, so that all the Divine virtues are 
purely active and regal virtues. 

The royal character of the Divine virtues appears in 

character of ...... . , . , . 

their exercise, in their diversity, and in their organic re- 
lations, which, in the moral life of God, are widely dif- 
ferent from what they are in creatures. In creatures, all 
virtues, even those which have an external object, tend to 
increase the inner perfection of the virtuous subject. Not 
so with God ; His perfection would be the same if He 
abstained from the exercise of any external virtue ; and 
as the only virtue essential to His perfection (viz. self-love 
and self-esteem) is pure act identical with the Divine 
Essence, it cannot be spoken of as exercised that is, as 
passing from potentiality to actuality. The virtues of 
creatures are manifold because they bear upon many 
objects and admit of various degrees of perfection. In God 
only one object, absolutely simple and perfect, is attained 
by the Divine Will, and consequently a diversity of virtues 
can only be based upon the remote and secondary objects 
of the Divine volitions. The organic unity of the virtues 
of creatures consists in the subordination of all others 
under the Love of God, which, like a bond of perfection, 
embraces and contains them all. But in God all virtues 
are one, because He can will nothing but Himself and 
things that are subordinated to Him as their supreme 

PART I.] The Divine Life. 241 

good. His infinite Love is the root from which all His CHAP. v. 

., , , , , r SECT. 86. 

other virtues spring, as it is also the root and essence of 
His Sanctity. The ramifications of the Divine Charity 
can, however, be considered as special moral virtues, 
because they represent special forms, or a special exercise 
of the Divine Goodness. The moral virtues in God are 
united more closely than in man, so much so that even 
the two most opposed of them, mercy and justice, are never 
exercised separately. 

The Divine virtues which are directed to external ob- 
jects that is, the moral virtues can be reduced to good- 
ness, justice and truth, the last being taken in the sense of 
moral wisdom and veracity. These three are the funda- 
mental types of all the other moral virtues in God : they 
are manifested in all His moral actions, and represent the 
principal directions into which the more special moral vir- 
tues branch off. We have already dealt with the nature 
of the Divine Goodness in the chapter on Divine Love ; it 
remains, therefore, to determine the absolute character of 
the Divine Justice, so far as it differs from created justice 
and is exercised in union with Divine goodness and truth. 
It is precisely its inseparability from Goodness and Truth 
which frees the Divine Justice from the restrictions and the 
dependence of created justice. 

SECT. 86. The Justice of God. 

I. Taken in its widest sense, justice may be defined as Definition 
the rectitude of the will ; that is, the disposition of the will 
and its acts in accordance with truth. In this sense, justice 
expresses the moral character of all the Divine virtues, 
including goodness. It differs from justice in creatures in 
that it is not a conformity with a higher rule, but a con- 
formity or agreement with the Essence and Wisdom of 
God Himself, or, as the Theologians express it : " conde- 
centia divinae bonitatis et sapientiae." Taken in a narrower 
sense, as distinct from goodness, justice designates in God 
and creatures a virtue which observes or introduces a 
certain order in external actions, and especially adapts 
the actions to the exigencies of the beings to which they 
refer. Created justice supposes an existing order, and 


242 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. v. the beings to which it adapts its actions are always more 
SEcr.86. independent of the agent ; whereas Divine Justice 

deals with an order established by God, and with beings 
entirely dependent on Him. Hence Divine Justice can 
have no other object than to dispose the works of God 
in a manner befitting His excellence and leading to His 
glory. This character is best expressed by the term 
" Architectonic Justice," which implies that it is not ruled 
or bound by any claim existing in its object, but that it con- 
sists in the conformity of determinate Divine actions with 
the archetypes of the Divine works existing in the Divine 
Mind. Thus the human artist works out his plans, not in 
order to satisfy the exigencies of the work of art, but to 
reproduce and realize his own conceptions. If the Divine 
Artist, unlike the human, deals with personal beings, this 
does not destroy the architectonic character of His Justice, 
for personal dignity has a claim on the Divine Justice only 
in as far as the Divine Wisdom effects the beauty and per- 
fection of His works by treating each being according to 
its own nature, and by giving each of them exactly that 
place in the general order of things which its intrinsic 
value demands. The only real right which stands in the 
presence of the Divine Will, and determines the whole 
order of its action, is the right of Divine Majesty : to the 
Divine Majesty all external works of God must be sub- 
jected, to it all the beings coming within the sphere of the 
Divine Justice must be directed. 

Divine II. Human justice and goodness differ in this, that 

pared wuT justice is prompted to act by a duty towards another 
being, whereas goodness acts freely on its own impulse. 
The Architectonic Justice of God, on the contrary, involves 
no moral necessity of satisfying the claims of any other 
being ; whatever moral necessity it involves originates in 
God Himself, Who is bound to act in accordance with 
His Wisdom, His Will, and His Excellence. In this sense 
Holy Scripture often calls the Divine Justice "truth," viz. 
God is just, because He is true to Himself. His Wisdom 
requires Him to make all things good and beautiful, and 
consequently to give each being what its nature demands, 
and to assign to each that position in the universal order 

PART I.] The Divine Life. 243 

which corresponds with the ultimate object of creation and CHAP, v 
with the dignity of the Divine Wisdom ; His sovereign Will 
requires that the ends intended should be always attained 
in one way or another, and consequently that the means 
necessary to these ends be forthcoming ; His excellence 
and dignity require Him to dispose all His works in a 
manner tending to the manifestation and glorification of 
His own goodness ; above all, His 'truthfulness and fidelity 
demand that He should not deny Himself in those acts by 
which He invites His creatures to expect with confidence a 
communication of His truth and of His possessions, for if 
creatures were deceived in their confidence, God would 
appear contemptible to them. God can bind Himself to 
actions which in every respect are free and remain free even 
after they are promised. Such obligation, however, is not in 
opposition to perfect freedom and independence, because 
it is always founded upon an act of the Divine goodness. 
Nor does this latter circumstance interfere with the strict- 
ness of the obligation, because the respect which God owes 
to Himself is infinitely more inviolable than any title arising 
from anything outside Him. Hence, although creatures 
have no formal claims on God, they have a greater cer- 
tainty that justice will be done to them than if they really 
possessed such claims. " For My name's sake I will remove 
My wrath afar off, and for My praise I will bridle thee, 
lest thou shouldst perish. . . . For My own sake, for My 
own sake, I will do it, that I may not be blasphemed " (Isai. 
xlviii. 9, 1 1 ; cf. Deut. vii. 9 and xxxii. 4 ; I John i. 9). 

III. Another consequence of the architectonic character The Divine 
of the Divine Justice is its very intimate connection with Good^s"' 


the Divine goodness. God's Justice crowns and perfects connected. 
His goodness, which would be essentially imperfect if the 
beings called into existence by it were not disposed and 
maintained in the order upheld by the Divine Justice. 
Sometimes certain acts of the Justice of God are attributed 
to His Justice alone, as distinguished from His goodness; 
for instance, the punishment of sinners and the permission 
of sin. But these acts are also acts of goodness, not so 
much towards the individual as towards the universe as a 
whole, the beauty and perfection of which require that at 

244 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 
CHAP. v. least incorrigible sinners should be reduced to order by 

SECT 86 * 

' punishment As to the permission of sin, it is quite com- 
patible with the perfection of the universe that free scope 
should be given to the failings of creatures and to their 
liberty of choice between good and evil ; it is in harmony 
with the nature of reasonable creatures, and affords the 
Creator manifold opportunities for manifesting His power, 
wisdom, and goodness. 

God's IV. If we compare the Divine Justice, as extended to 

krovi c d e e ntiai mankind, with the several forms and functions of human 
justice, it evidently appears as a royal, that- is a governing 
and Providential, Justice. It embraces all the functions 
necessary for the establishment, enforcement, and mainten- 
ance of order in a community, viz. legislative, distributive, 
administrative, and judicial. Commutative justice, how- 
ever, has no place in God, because it can only be exercised 
between beings more or less independent of each other. 
" Who hath first given Him and recompense shall be made 
him? "(Rom. xi. 35). Nevertheless, certain functions of 
the Divine Justice, notably those which belong to justice as 
distinguished from goodness, bear an analogy with com- 
mutative justice, and are spoken of in this sense by Holy 
Scripture. The analogy consists in the fact that God and 
every rational creature stand to each other as personal 
beings, and that, on the ground of this mutual relation, a 
certain interchange of gifts and services, and a certain 
recognition of " mine and thine " are conceivable. There 
are three functions of the Divine Justice which are better 
understood if considered from this point of view than from 
that of providential Justice alone. 

Rewards. I. In rewarding good actions, God treats them as 

services done to Himself, and gives the reward as a corre- 
sponding remuneration on His side. If He has promised 
it in a determinate form, creatures possess a sort of title to 
it, and He cannot withhold it without depriving them of 
what is their due. But this right and property are them- 
selves free gifts of God, because He makes the promise 
freely and He freely co-operates with the creature per- 
forming the good action, which, moreover, He can claim 
as His own in virtue of His sovereign dominion over all 

PART I.] The Divine Life. 245 

things. As St. Leo beautifully observes, "God rewards us CHAP.V. 
for what He Himself has given us" (Sua in nobis Dens k *^- 
dona coronaf). Thus He is in no way a debtor to creatures, 
because He is in no way dependent upon them. 

2. The punishment of evil is, likewise, more than a Punish- 

. . ments. 

reaction of Providential Justice against the disturbance 
of order. God treats sin as an offence against His dignity, 
an injustice by which the sinner incurs the duty of satisfac- 
tion, a debt which he is bound to pay even when he 
repents of his sin. Hence the Vindictive Justice of God 
is more than, the guardian of the moral order in general ; 
it is particularly an " Exacting " Justice by which God 
guards His own rights. This distinction is important, 
because the vindictive action of God against incorrigible 
sinners is a necessary consequence of His wisdom, whereas 
the exaction of satisfaction is a free exercise of His right, 
and, as such, is subject to the most varied modifications. 

3. Lastly the permission of sin might be brought under Permission 
the head of analogical commutative justice, inasmuch as 

it is a " leaving to each one what is his own." Evil and 
sin have their origin in the fact that creatures are nothing 
by themselves, and possess nothing but what is freely given 
them by God ; whence the permission of evil and sin 
is, on the part of God, a leaving the creature to what is its 
own, and may therefore be considered as an act of " Per- 
missive " Justice. When God allows the nothingness and 
the defectibility of the creature to come, so to speak, into 
play, He manifests His own primary right as much as 
when He punishes sin ; for He manifests Himself as alone 
essentially good, owing no man anything and needing 
nothing from any man. 

V. From these explanations it follows that the Divine Union of 

_.....- .,, , Justice and 

Justice in all its functions, but especially in the three last- Goodness, 
named, presupposes, and is based upon, the exercise of the 
Divine goodness. The Divine goodness, therefore, pervades 
and influences the whole working of the Divine Justice. 
God always gives greater rewards than justice requires ; 
He always exacts less and punishes less than He justly 
could exact and punish ; and He permits fewer evils than 
He could justly permit. Theologians commonly ascribe 

246 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. v. this influence of God's goodness on His justice more to His 
SECT.^. jyj erc y or merc jf u i bounty, not only because it manifests 
itself even in favour of those who make themselves unworthy 
of it, but also because it is chiefly determined by God's 
pity on the natural misery of the creatures. In fact, God 
rewards beyond merit, and punishes or exacts satisfaction 
below what is due, on account of the limited capabilities 
of creatures ; He softens His vindictive justice in view of 
the frailty of the sinner, and He restricts the permission 
of evil in view of the misery which evil entails upon 

The intimate union of Justice and goodness in God 
prevents His permitting sin as a means of manifesting His 
vindictive Justice, just as He wills good in order to manifest 
His retributive justice. The manifestation of vindictive 
justice is the object of the punishment of sin ; it is only the 
object of the permission of sin in as far as the permission 
of continuation or increase of sin is the punishment of 
a first fault. The first fault or sin can only be permitted 
by the Justice of God in as far as He thereby intends the 
maintenance of the order of the universe and of Divine and 
human liberty on the one hand, and on the other the 
manifestation of the nothingness of creatures and of the 
power of God, Who is able to make sin itself subservient 
to His glorification. With equal reason it might be said 
that God permits first sins in order to manifest His mercy, 
not only to those whom He preserves from sin, but especially 
that kind of mercy which can be shown to sinners only. 

SECT. 87. God's Mercy and Veracity. 

Mercy. I. The Divine goodness towards creatures assumes 

different names according to the different aspects under 
which it is considered. It is called Magnificence, Loving- 
kindness (pietas, gratia], Liberality, and Mercy. Of all 
these, the last named is the most beautiful and the most 
comprehensive, including, as it does, the meaning of all 
the others. The Divine Liberality in particular must be 
viewed in connection with the Divine Mercy in order to 
be seen in its full grandeur. In the service of Mercy, the 
liberality of God appears as constantly relieving some 

J.J The Divine Life. 247 

want on the part of creatures ; as undisturbed by the CHAP. v. 
worthlessness or even the positive unworthiness of the e ^J J - 
receiver of its gifts, nay, as taking occasion therefrom to 
increase its activity ; as preventing the abuse or the loss 
of its free gifts through the frailty of the receivers. Whence 
we see that the supernatural graces bestowed upon creatures 
before they committed any sin, as well as afterwards, are 
attributable to the Divine Mercy. But the preservation 
from and the forgiveness of sin, are especially described as 
acts of God's Mercy, because they imply a preservation or 
relief from an evil incurred through the creature's own 
fault. In this respect, the Divine Mercy appears as 
Forgiving-kindness, Indulgence, Clemency, Meekness, 
Patience, and Longanimity. Holy Scripture often accumu- 
lates these various names in order to excite our hope and 
kindle our love of God. " The Lord is compassionate and 
merciful : long-suffering and plenteous in mercy. He will 
not always be angry, nor will He threaten for ever. He 
hath not dealt with us according to our sins : nor rewarded 
us according to our iniquities. For according to the height 
of the heaven above the earth : He hath strengthened His 
mercy towards them that fear Him " (Ps. cii. 8 sqq. ; see 
also Ps. cxliv. 8 ; Wisd. xi. 24 sqq. ; xii. I sqq.). 

The mercy of God is infinite in its essential act ; but its 
operations ad extra have limits assigned to them by the 
wise decrees of the Divine freedom. In this sense we 
should understand the text, " He hath mercy on whom 
He will, and whom He will He hardeneth " (Rom. ix. 18). 

II. Veracity and truth stand midway between the good- veracity, 
ness and justice of God, inasmuch as, on the one hand, 
their object is the dispensing of a free gift to man, and 
inasmuch as, on the other hand, they imply the moral and 
hypothetical necessity to act in a certain manner. 

I. The Divine Veracity, in general, consists in this, God cannot 
that God cannot directly and positively cause error in crea- creatures, 
tures, any more than He can directly cause sin. When 
God formally addresses His creatures and exacts their 
faith in His words, He cannot lead them into error. This 
Veracity is eminently a Divine virtue, not only because 
mendacity is incompatible with His sanctity, but also and 

248 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. especially because it is infinitely more opposed to the 

SECT^SS. nature anc j dignity o f God than it is to human nature and 

dignity ; for a lie on God's part would be an abuse, 

not of a confidence founded on ordinary motives, but of 

a confidence founded on sovereign authority. 

God faithful 2. The same must be said of the Divine fidelity in the 
promises, fulfilment of promises. A promise once made by God, is 
irrevocable because of the Divine immutability. God is 
also faithful in a wider sense, viz. the Divine Will is " conse- 
quent" in its decrees, carrying out whatever it intends. 
" He who hath begun a good work in you will perfect 
it " (Phil. i. 6). Both forms of fidelity usually act together, 
especially in the administration of the supernatural order 
of grace ; so that in this order the simple prayers of man 
have, to a certain extent, as infallible a claim on the 
Divine goodness and mercy as the good works of the just 
have on the Divine Justice. " He that sent Me is true " 
(John viii. 26) ; " God is not as a man that He should 
lie, nor as the son of man that He should be changed. 
Hath He said then, and will He not do ? hath He spoken, 
and will He not fulfil ? " (Numb, xxiii. 19. Cf. John iii. 
33; Rom. iii. 4; Ps. cxliv. 13; Heb. x. 23 ; 2 Tim. ii. 
13 ; Matt. xxiv. 35). Although every word of God is 
equal to an oath an oath being the invocation of God 
as a witness of the truth still God, condescending to human 
frailty, has given to His chief promises the form of an 
oath, swearing however by Himself as there is no higher 
being. "God, making promise to Abraham, because He 
had no one greater by whom He might swear, swore by 
Himself" (Heb. vi. 13). 

SECT. 88. Efficacy of the Divine Will Its Dominion over 
Created Wills. 

The Divme I. In all rational beings, the will is the determining 

paredTkh principle of their external activity, the perfection of which 

vviiL rea is proportioned to the perfection of the will and of the 

person willing. The Divine Will, being in itself absolutely 

perfect and identical with the Divine Wisdom, Power, and 

Dignity, possesses the highest possible efficacy in its external 

operations : all being and all activity proceed from it, and 

PART L] The Divine Life. 249 

are supported by it, so that nothing is done without its CHAP. v. 
influence or permission. Sovereign control over every E f^_ 88 - 
other will is exercised by the Divine Will, and is the 
brightest manifestation of its internal perfection. We are 
about to study this particular aspect of the Divine Will 
in its bearing upon the created will : its general efficacy 
has been dealt with in the section on Omnipotence. 

II. The Divine Will exhibits to the created will the The Divine 

, r r i i i Will a law to 

ideal of moral perfection and sanctity to be aimed at ; and, the created 
in virtue of the absolute excellence and dominion of God, 
the decrees of His Will impose upon the created will a law 
which creatures are in duty bound to fulfil. The power of 
God is the only power which can impose a duty in virtue 
of its own excellence ; wherefore also every duty ought to 
be founded upon the power of God as upon its binding 
principle. The created will is essentially dependent on no 
other will than the Divine, and no other will than the Will 
of God is absolutely worshipful. On the other hand, our 
notion of duty implies that we are bound to do, not only 
what we apprehend as most in harmony with the exigencies 
of our nature, but also what a superior Will, to which we 
are essentially subjected, and which we apprehend as 
absolutely worshipful, commands us to do. Other law- 
givers can only impose obligations inasmuch as they repre- 
sent God and act in His name ; the exigencies of our 
nature are binding upon us only inasmuch as they express 
the Will of the Creator. Even the eternal rule of the 
Divine Wisdom, whereby God knows what is fitting for 
His creatures, only becomes law through the Divine Will 
commanding creatures to conform to it. 

III. Again, the Divine Will acts on the created will in The Divine 
such a way as to move it intrinsically ; that is, it influences upon a the 
the genesis and the direction of the acts of the human will. btri^s 
The created will owes its very existence and energy to the 

Will of God. Hence its active liberty or self-determination 
is the fruit of the activity of the Divine Will. The exercise 
of created liberty cannot be conceived independently of a 
Divine motive influence, so much so, that the good actions 
of the creature are in the first place actions of God. For 
the same reason, the Divine Will can move the human will, 

250 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. v. not merely from without by presenting to it motives or 
SECT'S, inducements to act, but also physically from within, so as 
to incline or even to impel the will to certain acts. Hence, 
again, the Divine Will has the power to prevent, by direct 
influence, all the acts of the human will which God will not 
permit, and to bring about all the acts which He desires to 
be performed, even so as to cause a complete reversion of 
the inclinations existing in the created will. All this God 
does without interfering with created freedom. He aims 
at and obtains the free performance of the acts in question. 
"It is God Who worketh in you, both to will and to 
accomplish, according to His good will" (Phil. ii. 13; 
cf. Isai. xxvi. 12 ; Prov. xxi. I ; Rom. xi. 23). This 
doctrine should inspire us with great confidence when 
praying for the conversion of obstinate sinners, or for our 
own conversion from inveterate evil habits: "Ad Te 
nostras etiam rebelles compelle propitius voluntates ! " 
{Secret. Dom. iv. post Pent). Cf. St. Thorn., /. q. in, a. 2. 
Not ail that IV. Although, absolutely speaking, the decrees of the 
accom- ' Divine Will are always efficacious and can never be frus- 
iYiswunl trated through the interference of any other will, it is 
coml ver " nevertheless true that, in more than one respect, not all 
that God wills is actually accomplished. The created will 
sometimes opposes the Will of the Creator, resisting it and 
rendering His intentions vain. We cannot, however, say 
that the created will overcomes the Divine Will, or that 
the latter is powerless. In order completely to understand 
this point the decrees of the Divine Will should be con- 
sidered separately in their principal features. 

i. The decrees relating to the moral order of the world 
are not always fulfilled in their first and original form that 
is, as expressing the moral law which God commands His 
creatures to follow : for creatures are physically free to 
refuse submission to the moral law of God. But by so 
doing they neither overcome the Divine Will nor do they 
prove it powerless. The Divine Will is not overcome, 
because from the beginning its decree is directed upon the 
alternative that either the creature shall voluntarily submit 
to the law, or shall be forced into submission to it by the 
Divine Justice. Nor is the Divine Will made powerless, 

PAKT I.] The Divine Life. 251 

because the power proper to the Divine decree is the CHAP. v. 
imposition of an obligation, an obligation which binds the E 
sinner even when he despises it. The ruling or governing 
decrees of the Divine Will are still less impaired by sin, 
because the permission of sin is included in these same 
decrees. Thus God always is the conqueror of sin and 

2. The Divine decrees relating to the last end of 
rational creatures, in as far as they express the first and 
original intention of the Divine Will (which is that all men 
should be saved, I Tim. ii. 4), are likewise liable to be frus- 
trated through the refusal of co-operation on the part of 
creatures. But here also the Divine Will asserts its power. 
The salvation of all mankind is subordinate to a higher 
object, viz. the glorification of God through rational creatures. 
But this higher object is always attained, either by the 
salvation or the just punishment of man. Furthermore, 
the will to save all mankind is not proved powerless by 
the refusal of co-operation on the part of man, because its 
essential efficacy only consists in making salvation possible 
to all men ; nor does its sincerity require that God should 
procure unconditionally the co-operation of man. Besides, 
it is not want of power that prevents God from enforcing 
co-operation, but His free Will. 

3. Lastly, the Divine decrees relating to the performance 
of acts dependent on human co-operation may also be 
frustrated in as far as they only conditionally intend the 
performance of these acts. The decrees do not always 
include the will to enforce co-operation, but only to assist 
it and to render it possible. Whenever the will to enforce 
co-operation is included, co-operation is infallibly secured, 
for, in this supposition, God makes such use of His power 
as to incline the will of man freely to co-operate in the 
desired action. 

V. Are all good actions which actually take place the Are aii good 
effect of a Divine decree enforcing free co-operation ? cffect'of a e 
This is a question of detail, which cannot be solved off- decree en- 
hand by invoking the infallible efficacy of the Divine co^opfratfon? 
Will, and which it would be rash to answer at once in 
the affirmative. Some would hold that, besides the Divine 

252 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. decrees which God intends to be infallibly efficacious, there 
' may be others likewise efficacious, although not intended 
to be so infallibly. Considering the way in which God 
wills, assists, and renders possible the good deeds of man, 
it is not easy to admit that only those good deeds should 
really be performed which God unconditionally desires to 
be performed. If this were the case, it would seem as if 
God were not in earnest when He renders possible a good 
deed without at the same time securing its actual accom- 
plishment. To avoid this semblance it is best not to 
admit a Divine decree unconditional at the outset, but 
rather a general decree (or intention) conditional at the 
outset and made absolute by the prevision of the actual 
fulfilment of the condition. There still remains room for 
the display of a special mercy in the infallible prevention 
of abuses of freedom ; whereas, on the other hand, the 
frustration of the conditional decree is exclusively attri- 
butable to the misuse of freedom. More on this subject 
will be found in the treatise on Grace. 

In theological language the above doctrine is shortly 
formulated as follows : The Divine Will is not always 
fulfilled as Voluntas Antecedents, i.e. considered in its 
original designs, as they are before God takes into account 
the actual behaviour of created wills ; it is always fulfilled 
as Voluntas Consequens, i.e. considered in its designs as 
they are after taking into account the actual behaviour 
of free creatures. The Voluntas Antecedens is a velle 
secundum quid (= conditional); the Voluntas Consequens 
is a velle simpliciter (= absolute). It should be noted that 
the terms Voluntas Antecedens and Consequens are not 
always used in the same sense by all theologians, because 
they do not all consider the same object as their term of 
comparison. See St. Bonaventure (in I. Sent. t dist. 47, 
a. i) for a beautiful exposition of the doctrine here in 

PART L] The Divine Life. 253 


SECT. 89. The Divine Will as Living Goodness and SECT. 89.' 
Holiness God the Substantial Holiness, 

I. As Holy Scripture expresses the whole perfection of Godis 
the intellectual life of God by calling Him "the Truth," so Holiness ' 
it describes the whole perfection of the life of His Will by 
calling Him " Holy," pure and simple, or the " Holy of 
Holies." " I the Lord your God am holy " (Lev. xix. 2 ; 
cf. I Pet i. 1 6). The Holiness of God, however, is more 
than a direction of His Will upon, and conformity with, 
the good and the beautiful : it is the most intimate effec- 
tive union with the most perfect objective goodness and 
beauty. God is " the Holiness " as He is " the Truth." 

The proposition, " God is the Holiness," implies the 
three following constituents : 

1. The life of the Divine Will is Holiness pure and 
simple and pre-eminently, because it is directed entirely, 
immediately, and exclusively on the infinite Goodness and 
Beauty of the Divine Essence, and is united with the 
Divine Beauty and Goodness in every conceivable manner, 
as complacency, love, and fruition ; hence the same attri- 
butes such as simplicity, infinity, and immutability are 
applicable to both the life of the Divine Will and the 
goodness and beauty of the Divine Substance. 

2. The life of the Divine Will is essential Holiness, 
because it is essentially identical with the objective Good- 
ness and Beauty of God, and not merely united to them. 

3. It is Holiness by nature ; that is, the Divine Nature 
contains Holiness as its proper energy. Holiness is a 
constituent element of the Divine Nature, whereas created 
nature possesses only a capacity for holiness. Thus, the 
Divine Holiness is a substantial Holiness, and God is 
Holiness just as He is Truth and Life. 

It is evident that the eminent sanctity of God, as above 
described, is an attribute proper to Him alone. 

II. As God is the substantial Holiness and, a fortiori God the 
the substantial Goodness, He is the Ideal and the source Holiness. 3 
of all pleasure and love, of all joy and delight, of all the 
tendencies and appetites of creatures, which only acquire 
their goodness by adhering to goods outside and above 

254 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. v. them, and, in the last resort, by adhering to the Creator. 
SECT^O. f| ence G O( }'S Goodness and Holiness, immovable in them- 
selves, are the principle of all motion and of all rest in 
created life ; and the life of creatures is but an exhala- 
tion from and a participation of the Substantial Goodness 
of God. This applies more particularly to the life of 
spiritual creatures, whose goodness consists in conformity 
with the life of God, and is the work of the life-giving 
influence of the Divine Goodness. God's bounty manifests 
its power and fecundity most in the supernatural order, by 
leading His spiritual creatures to a participation of His 
own life " partakers of the Divine Nature " (2 Pet. i. 4). 
That participation, however, by which the blessed spirits see 
God face to face and are filled with His own beatitude, is 
but accidental to them ; it makes them godlike, but not 
gods. 1 

SECT. 90. The Beatitude and Glory of the Divine Life. 

God is I. God possesses, or rather is, infinite Beatitude and 

lieatitude Glory. The life of God essentially consists in the most 
perfect knowledge and love of the most perfect goodness 
and beauty ; a knowledge and love which confer the 
highest possible satisfaction, fruition and repose that is, 
the greatest beatitude. On the other hand, the activity of 
the Divine Life is resplendent with all the beauty of the 
Divine Intellect and the Divine Substance, and is there- 
fore the highest Glory. In a word, God is Beatitude and 
Glory, because He is Truth and Holiness. For this reason 
Scripture calls Him "the Blessed God" (6 jitaica/oioe, I Tim. 
i. n, vi. 15) ; and often points out that He alone possesses 
glory pure and simple, because He alone is deserving of 
praise pure and simple. A created spirit neither possesses 
nor is entitled to a felicity and glory like the Divine. 
Even the felicity to which it is naturally or supernaturally 
destined is not intrinsically connected with its nature, but 
is acquired from without, under the helping and sustaining 
influence of God. The supernatural glory given by God 

1 This doctrine will be further developed in the treatises on the Trinity 
and on the Supernatural Order. 

PART I.J The Divine Life. 255 

to His creatures by admitting them to a participation of CHAP. v. 
His own Beatitude, is a splendid manifestation of the "^L* - 
Divine Glory, which again gives God the greatest external 
glory, and confers upon the creature the highest con- 
ceivable honour. 

II. A deeper insight into the Divine Beatitude and TheDiv!ne 

. Beatitude. 

glory will be gained from the following considerations. 

1. The reason why the Divine Felicity is absolute is 
because God is Himself, and possesses in Himself, what- 
ever can be the object of beatifying possession and fruition. 
He is the highest good ; His Knowledge and Love of Him- 
self adequately embrace Himself as the highest good, and 
thus c6nstitute infinite honour, glory, and praise. Created 
beings can but imitate the glory which God draws from 
Himself. The possession of external goods adds nothing 
to the Divine Beatitude : they contribute to it only in so 
far as God knows and loves His power and dominion, of 
which external goods are manifestations ; consequently 
they may not even be called accidental beatitude, because 
they are only an external revelation of the internal beati- 
tude. The beatitude of created spirits is essentially rela- 
tive. It is proportioned to their capacities and merits, 
and consists in the possession and fruition of external 
goods, in the last instance, of God, on which they are 
dependent for their felicity. To be loved and honoured 
by God is an element essential to the beatitude of 
creatures ; nay, the highest delight of the beatified spirits 
is not caused by the fact that //^/possess the highest good, 
but by the fact that God possesses the highest Beatitude 
and Glory ; they rejoice in their own felicity because they 
know that it contributes to the Glory of God. 

2. The Divine Glory is also absolute, not only because 
it is the highest Glory, but because it finds in God Himself 
an object of infinite beauty and splendour. Outside of 
God, there is nothing to which He owes any honour or 
glory ; the glory which creatures deserve is a free gift of 
His Goodness, and is, in the last resort, the Glory of God 
Himself. Hence the glory of created spirits is purely 

Since the Beatitude and Glory of God are absolutely 

256 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IL 

CHAP. v. perfect in themselves, no Divine operation can tend 
ECT.J>O. ^ complete or to increase them. When God operates, 
He can only communicate out of His own perfection. 
But this communication takes place in two directions 
without and within. The necessary operation within, by 
which the fulness of God's Beatitude and Glory is com- 
municated and revealed, forms the fundamental idea of the 
mystery of the Blessed Trinity. 




THE whole doctrine of the Trinity has been extensively Literatim, 
dealt with by the Fathers who opposed the Arian heresy. 
The classical writings are the following : St. Athanasius, 
Contra Arianos Orationes Quatuor (on the Divinity of the 
Son ; see Card. Newman's annotated translation), and 
Ad Scrapionem Epistola Quatuor (on the Divinity of the 
Holy Ghost) ; St. Basil, Contra Eunomium (especially the 
solution of philosophical and dialectical objections the 
genuineness of the last two books is questioned), and De 
Spiritu Sancto ad Amphilochium ; St. Gregory of Nyssa, 
Contra Eunomium ; Didymus, De Trinitate and De Spiritu 
Sancto ; St. Cyril of Alexandria, Thesaurus de SS. Trini- 
tate ; St. Hilary of Poitiers, De Trin. (a systematic demon- 
stration and defence of the dogma) ; St. Ambrose, De Fide 
Trinitatis (specially the consubstantiality of the Son), and 
De Spiritu S. ; St. Augustine, De Trinitate the latter 
part of this work (bks. viii.-xv.), in which St. Augustine 
goes farther than his predecessors, is the foundation of 
the great speculations of the Schoolmen. St. Anselm first 
summed up and methodically arranged in his Monologium 
the results obtained by St. Augustine ; Peter Lombard 
and William of Paris (opusc. de Trinitate} developed them 
still further ; Richard of St. Victor, in his remarkable treatise 
De Trinitate, added many new ideas. The doctrine re- 
ceived its technical completion at the hands of Alexander 
of Hales, i., q. 42 sqq. ; St. Bonavcnture in 1. i., Sent. ; 
and St. Thomas, esp. /., q. 27 sqq. ; C. Gentes, \. iv., cc. 2-26, 
and in Qq. Dispp. passim. All the work of the thirteenth 
rentury was summed up by Dionysius the Carthusian 


258 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

in 1. i., Sent. After the Council of Trent, we have ex- 
cellent treatises, positive and apologetic : Bellarmine, De 
Verbo Dei ; Gregory of Valentia, De Trinitate ; Petavius; 
Thomassin ; but the best of all the positive scholastic 
treatises is Ruiz, De Trinitate. Among modern authors, 
Kuhn, Franzelin, and Kleutgen deserve special mention. 
On the Divinity of the Son, see Canon Liddon's Bampton 
Lectures. Cardinal Manning has written two valuable 
works on the Holy Ghost : The Temporal Mission of the 
Holy Ghost ; The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost. For 
the history of the Dogma, see Card. Newman's Arians ; 
Schwane, History of Dogma (in German), vols. i., ii. ; and 
Werner, History of Apologetic Literature (in German). 
Division. We shall treat first of the Dogma itself as contained in 

Scripture and Tradition ; and afterwards we shall give 
some account of the attempts of the Fathers and School- 
men to penetrate into the depths of the mystery. 

( 2 59 .) 



SECT. 91. The Dogma of the Trinity as formulated by the 


THE mystery of the Trinity, being the fundamental dogma CHAP, i 
of the Christian religion, was reduced to a fixed formula ^_ 91 
in apostolic times, and this primitive formula, used as the 
symbol of faith in the administration of Baptism, forms 
the kernel or germ of all the later developments. 

I. The original form of the Creed is : "I believe in one The 
God Father Almighty, . . . and in Jesus Christ His only Cr P eed. 
Son, our Lord, . . . and in the Holy Ghost." Father and 
Son are manifestly distinct Persons, hence the same is true 

of the Holy Ghost. They are, each of Them, the object 
of the same act of faith and of the same worship, hence 
They are of the same rank and dignity. Being the object 
of faith in one God, the Son and the Holy Ghost must be 
one God with the Father, possessing through Him and with 
Him the same Divine Nature. The Divinity of the Son 
and of the Holy Ghost is not expressed separately, because 
it is contained sufficiently in the assertion that they are 
one God with the Father. Besides, the repetition of the 
formula " and in one God " before the words Son and Holy 
Ghost, would be harsh, and would obscure the manner in 
which the Three Persons are one God. 

II. The heresies of the first centuries, which had Jewish, Antitnni- 

..... .... .. ,. tarian 

pagan, and rationalistic tendencies, distorted the sense of heresies, 
the Catholic profession in three different directions. 

I. The Antitrinitarians (Monarchians and Sabellians,) 

260 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK u. 

CHAP i. denied the real distinction between the Persons, looking 
^II 91 ' upon Them simply as three manifestations or modalities 
(TT/ooiTWTra) of one and the same Person. 

2. The Subordinatians insisted too much on the real 
distinction between the Persons and on the origin of the 
Son and the Holy Ghost from the Father. They held that 
the Son and the Holy Ghost were the effect of a Divine 
operation ad extra, and thus were inferior to God, but 
above all other creatures. 

3. The Tritheists taught a system aiming at the main- 
tenance of the distinction of Persons and the equality of 
Nature and dignity, but " multiplying the nature " at the 
same time as the Persons, and thus destroying the Tri- 

FopeDiony- III. Pope Dionysius (A.D. 259-269), in the famous 
Councils of dogmatic letter which he addressed to Denis of Alexandria, 
Con^ttnti- lays down the Catholic doctrine in opposition to the above- 
named heresies. The Bishop of Alexandria, in his zeal 
to defeat the Sabellians, had laid so much stress on the 
distinction of the Persons, that the Divine unity seemed 
endangered. The Pope first confutes the Sabellians, then 
the Tritheists, and lastly the Subordinatians. We possess 
only the last two parts, relating to the unity and equality 
of Essence or to the " Divine Monarchy." They are to be 
found in St. Athanasius, Lib, de Sent. Dion. Alex. (See 
Card. Newman's Arians, p. 125.) The letter of Pope 
Dionysius lays down the essential lines afterwards followed 
in the definitions of the Councils of Nicaea and Constanti- 
nople concerning the relations of the Son and the Holy 
Ghost to the Father. The last-named Council was, more- 
over, guided by the " Anathematisms" of Pope Damasus, 
which determine the whole doctrine of the Divine Trinity 
and Unity more in detail than the epistle of Pope Dionysius. 
The Councils, on the contrary, deal only with one of the 
Persons : that of Nicaea with the Son, that of Constan- 
tinople with the Holy Ghost. 

Councilor IV. The Council of Nicaea defined, against the Arians, 

what is of faith concerning the Son of God, positively by 
developing the concept of Sonship contained in the 
Apostles' Creed, and negatively by a subjoined anathema. 

PART n.] The Dogma. 261 

The text of the Nicene Creed is : "And [I believe] in one CHAP. L 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Scwi of God, the only begotten and Suc 2L?*' 
born of the Father, God of God, Light of light, true God 
of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial (6/zoouo-tov) 
with the Father by whom all things were made, which are 
in heaven and on earth. . . . Those who say : there was a 
time when the Son of God was not, and before He was 
begotten He was not and who say that the Son of God 
was made of nothing, or of another substance (uTroorao-ewv) 
or essence, or created, or alterable, or mutable these the 
Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes." 

V. The Council of Constantinople defined, against the First 
Macedonians, what must be believed concerning the Holy Constant!- 
Ghost. The text is: "And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord nople< 
and Life-Giver (ro Trvtu/za TO aytov, ro Kvpiov, TO WOTTOIOV), 

Who proceedeth (fK7ro/>uo^uvov) from the Father, Who 
together with the Father and the Son is adored and glori- 
fied, Who spake by the Prophets." The words, " Who pro- 
ceedeth from the Father," indicate the reason why the Third 
Person is equal to the two others, viz. by reason of His 
mode of origin. The procession from the Son is not 
defined explicitly, because it was already implied in the 
procession from the Father and was not denied by the 

VI. Although the " Anathematisms " of Pope Damasus P~I* 
are anterior in date to the Council of Constantinople, and 
were taken as the basis of its definitions, still the last of 
them may be regarded as a summing up and keystone 

of all the dogmatic formulas preceding it. Like the 
formula of Pope Dionysius, it is directed against Tritheism 
and Subordinatianism. See the text in Denzinger, n. 6, or 
better in Hardouin, i. p. 805. 

VII. The Athanasian Creed, dating probably from the Athanasian 
fifth century, expounds the whole dogma of the Trinity by 
developing the formula, " One God in Trinity, and Trinity 

in Unity." It teaches that the Persons are not to be con- 
founded nor the Substance divided, and especially that the 
essential attributes " uncreated," " immense," " eternal," 
etc. belong to each of the Persons because of the identity 
of Substance, but that these attributes are not multiplied 

262 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [ROOK II. 

CHAP. i. any more than the Substance to which they belong : " not 

three uncreated, but one uncreated." 

Councilor VIII. The most complete symbol of the dogma formu- 
lated in patristic times, is that of the eleventh Synod of 
Toledo (A.D. 675), which expounds the Catholic doctrine 
as developed in the controversies with earlier heresies. 
First, following the older symbols, the Synod treats of the 
Three Divine Persons in succession ; then, in three further 
sections, it develops and sets forth the general doctrine, 
viz. (i) the true unity of Substance, notwithstanding the 
Trinity of Persons ; (2) the real Trinity of the Persons, 
notwithstanding the unity of Substance ; and (3) the in- 
separable union of the three Persons, demanded by their 
very distinction. 

In later times the dogma received a more distinct 
formulation only in two points, both directed against most 
subtle forms of separation and division in God. 

The Fourth IX. The Fourth Lateran Council declared, in its defi- 
Coundi. nition against the abbot Joachim (cap. Danmamus), the 
absolute identity of the Divine Substance with the Persons 
as well as with Itself; pointing out how the identity of 
Substance in the Three Persons makes it impossible for 
there to be a multiplication of the Substance in the several 
Persons, which would transform the substantial unity of 
God into a collective unity: "There is one Supreme, In- 
comprehensible, and Ineffable Thing (res} which is truly 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Three Persons together and 
each of Them singly." 

Second X. On the other hand, the unity of the relation by 

Lyonf f which the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the 
iheFiioque. g on was Defined m ore precisely in the repeated declara- 
tions of the Second Council of Lyons and that of Florence 
against the Greeks. The Greeks, in order to justify their 
ecclesiastical schism, had excogitated the heresy of a schism 
in the relations between the Divine Persons ; for this and 
nothing else is the import of the negation of the procession 
of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son. 
The XI. The compact exposition given by the Council of 

to U r"nce? Florence in the decree Pro Jacobitis establishes with 
precision (i) the real distinction of the Persons, based 

PART IT.] The Dogma. 263 

upon the difference of origin ; (2) the absolute unity of the CHAP. i. 

, ,., SECT. gi. 

Persons, and Their consequent immanence and equality , 
(3) especially Their diversity and unity as principles 
(" Pater est principium sine principio. . . . Filius est prin- 
cipium de principio," etc.). 

XII. Among decisions of more recent date, we need only The Bun 
mention the correction of the Synod of Pistoia by Pius VL,juu. 
in the Bull Auctorem fidei, for having used the expression 

' Deus in tribus personis distinct " instead of" distinct ; " 
and the declarations of the Provincial Council of Cologne 
(1860) against the philosophy of Giinther. 

XIII. According to the above documents, the chief Summary, 
points of the dogma of the Trinity are the following : 

1. The one God exists truly, really, and essentially as 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; that is, the Divinity, as 
Substance, subsists in the form of three really distinct 
Hypostases or Persons, so that the Divinity, as Essence 
and Nature, is common to the Three. 

2. The three Possessors of the one Divinity are not 
really distinct from Their common Essence and Nature, as, 
for instance, a form is distinct from its subject ; They only 
represent three different manners in which the Divine 
Essence and Nature, as an absolutely independent and 
individual substance, belongs to Itself. 

3. A real difference exists only between the several 
Persons, and is based upon the particular personal character 
of each, which consists in the particular manner in which each 
of Them possesses or comes into possession of the common 

4. The diversity in the manner of possessing the Divine 
Nature lies in this, that only one Person possesses the 
Nature originally, and that the two Others, each again in 
His own way, derive it. The First Person, however, com- 
municates the Divine Nature to the Second Person and 
to the Third Person, not accidentally but essentially, and 
These latter receive the Divine Nature likewise essentially 
because the Nature, being really identical with the Three 
Persons, essentially belongs to, and essentially demands to 
be in, each of Them. 

5. The diversity existing between the Three Person? 

264 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. i. implies the existence of an essential relation between each 
I- one anc | t j ie other two, so that the positive peculiarity of 
each must be expressed by a particular name, characterizing 
the Second and Third Persons as receiving, and the First 
as giving, possession of the common Nature. 

6. Although the Three Persons, being equal possessors of 
the Godhead, have a distinct subsistence side by side, still 
They have no separate existence. On the contrary, by 
reason of Their identity with the one indivisible Substance 
and of Their essential relations to each other, none of Them 
can be conceived without or separate from the other two. 
Technically this is expressed by the terms circumincessio 
(= 7T/>ixw/oj<"e> coinherence), coh&rentia( awafaid), and 
aXXrjXouxia ( = mutual possession). 

7. For the same reasons, the most intimate and most 
real community exists between the Persons as to all that 
constitutes the object of Their possession. This applies 
not merely to the attributes of the Divine Substance, but 
also to the peculiar character of each Person, viz. the 
producing Persons possess the produced Person as Their 
production, and are possessed by This as the necessary 
originators of His personality. Hence, notwithstanding 
the origin of one Person from another, there is neither 
subordination nor succession between Them. 

8. The activity of a person is attributed to his nature 
as principium quo, and to the person himself as principium 
quod. Hence the Divine activity, in as far as it is not 
specially directed to the production of a Person, is common 
to the Three Persons. Further, the Divine Nature being 
absolutely simple and indivisible, the activity proper to 
the Three Persons is also simple and indivisible ; that 
is, it is not a co-operation, but the simple operation of one 
principium quo. 

9. Thus the Three Persons, as they are one Divine 
Being, are also the one Principle of all things, the one Lord 
and Master, the Divine Monarchy (juovr/ ap\i'i). 




SECT. 92. The Trinity in the New Testament. 

IN the Old Testament, the dogma of one God, Creator, 
and Ruler of the world is the doctrine round which all 
others are grouped ; the Trinity of Persons is only men- 
tioned with more or less distinctness in connection with 
the Incarnation. In the New Testament, on the contrary, 
the mystery of the Trinity is the central point of doctrine ; 
it is here, therefore, that we must begin our investigation. 
We shall first consider the texts treating of the three 
Divine Persons together, and afterwards those treating of 
each Person in particular. We shall prove from Scripture 
the Personality of each Person as distinguished from the 
others by the mode of origin, and then the Divinity of 
each, from which the essential identity of the Three 
Persons flows as a consequence. 

I. In the Gospels the Three Persons are mentioned at 
four of the most important epochs of the history of Reve- 
lation, viz. (i) at the Annunciation (Luke i. 35) ; (2) at 
the Baptism of our Lord and the beginning of His public 
life (Matt. iii. 13, sqq.) ; (3) in the last solemn speech 
of our Lord before His Passion (John xiv., xv., xvi.) ; 
and (4) after His Passion and before His Ascension, when 
giving the Apostles the commandment to preach and to 
baptize (Matt, xxviii. 19). Of these texts, the third is 
the most explicit as to the distinction of the Persons ; 
the fourth points out best the distinction and unity, and 
declares at the same time that the Trinity is the funda- 
mental dogma of the Christian Faith. The second text 


A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 


SECT. 92 

At the An- 

At Christ's 

At the Last 

The formula 
of Baptism. 

gives us the most perfect external manifestation of the 
Three Persons : the Son in His visible Nature, the Holy 
Ghost as a Dove, the Father speaking in an audible Voice. 

1. Luke i. 35: "The Holy Ghost (irvev/^a aytoi/) shall 
come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall 
overshadow thee, and therefore also the Holy which shall be 
born of thee shall be called the Son of God" The " Most 
High" is here God as Father of the Son, according to 
ver. 32 : " He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of 
the Most High." 

2. St. Matthew (iii. 16, 17), relating the baptism of Christ, 
says, "And Jesus, being baptized, forthwith came out of 
the water : and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him : 
and He. saw the Spirit of God descending, as a dove, and 
coming upon Him. And, behold, a voice from heaven, 
saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well 

3. In the speech after the Last Supper, as recorded by 
St. John, three passages occur which may be connected 
thus : " / will ask the Father and He shall give you another 
Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever, the Spirit 
of truth (xiv. 16). . . . "But when the Paraclete shall come, 
Whom / will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, 
Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony 
of Me (xv. 26). . . . But when He, the Spirit of truth, shall 
come, He will teach you all truth : for He shall not speak 
of Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall 
speak. . . . He shall glorify Me, because He shall receive 
of Mine and will declare (it) to you. All things whatsoever 
the Father hath, are Mine ; therefore I said that He shall 
receive of Mine and declare it to you " (xvi. 13-15). 

4. The command to baptize : " Go ye therefore and 
teach all nations ; baptizing them in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost " (Matt, 
xxviii. 19). The form of Baptism is here given as the first 
thing to be taught to the receiver of the Sacrament. The 
import of the teaching is this : the three subjects named, 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are They by Whose authority 
and power Baptism works the forgiveness of sin and confers 
sanctifying grace, and are They for Whose Majesty the 

PABT II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 267 

baptized are taken possession of and put under obligation CHAP.II 
in other words, to Whose honour and worship they are ^2^*' 
consecrated. The latter meaning is more prominent in 
the Greek formula ap ro ovo/ua, the former more in the 
Latin in nomine. Hence (a) the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost are three Persons, because only persons possess 
power and authority, (b} They are distinct Persons, because 
distinguished by different names, (c] They are equal in 
power and dignity, and all possess Divine power, because 
they all stand in the same relation to the baptized : for- 
giving sin, conferring sanctifying grace, exacting worship 
and submission of the kind required in baptism, are Divine 
prerogatives, (cf) The singular number, " in the name," 
indicates that the Divine Dignity which this formula ex- 
presses is not multiplied in the Three Persons, but is undi- 
vided, so that the one Divine principle and end proposed 
to the baptized is likewise but one Divine Being. Cf. 
Franzelin, De Trin., thes. iii. 

II. From the Epistles four passages are commonly i n the 
selected in which the Three Persons appear at the same Epli>tle9 ' 
time as distinct and of the same Essence. The strongest 
would be the comma Johanneum (i John v. 7), the authen- 
ticity of which is, indeed, disputed, but which, on Catholic 
principles, may be defended. See, on this point, the 
exhaustive dissertation of Franzelin, L.c , thes. iv., and 
Wiseman's Letters on I John v. 7. 

1. " No man can say the Lord Jesus but by the Holy 
Ghost. Now, there are diversities of graces, but the same 
Spirit ; and there are diversities of ministries, but the same 
Lord [= Christ, the Son of God] ; and there are diversities 
of operations, but the same God [= the Father], Who 
worketh all in all " (i Cor. xii. 3-6). 

2. " The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the 
charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Ghost 
be with you all " (2 Cor. xiii. 13). 

3. " To the elect . . . according to the foreknowledge 
of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto 
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ " 
(i Pet. i. i, 2). 

4. " Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that 

268 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. ii. believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ? This is He that 
' came by water and blood, Jesus Christ ; not in water only, 
but in water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth 
that Christ is the truth. For there are three who give 
testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy 
GJiost : and these three are one. And there are three that give 
testimony on earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood : 
and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of 
men, the testimony of God is greater " (i John v. 5-9). 

The sense of the context is not without difficulty. It 
depends upon the question whether St. John had in view 
the error of the Gnostics, who attributed to Christ an 
apparent, not a real body ; or that of the Cerinthians, who 
distinguished Christ the Son of God from the man Jesus, 
and taught that, at the Baptism, the Son of God descended 
upon Jesus, but left Him again at the Passion. In the 
first supposition, St. John had to prove the reality of the 
humanity of Christ ; and, in this case, the water is the water 
that flowed from His side on the cross, and the " spirit " 
of vers. 6 and 8 is the spirit (= soul) which Jesus gave 
up on the cross (cf. John xix. 30, 34, 35). In the second 
supposition (which is to us by far the more probable) 
the point was to prove the unity, constant and indissoluble, 
of Jesus with the Son of God ; and, in this case, ver. 6 
means : This Jesus, Who is the Son of God, came as Son 
of God in the blood of His Passion as well as in the water 
of the Jordan, and has shown what He is by sending the 
Holy Ghost and His gifts on the day of Pentecost as He 
had promised. In each of these three events, a testimony 
was given in favour of the dignity of Jesus as Son of God 
and Christ : at His Baptism, the voice of the Father ; at 
the Passion, the affirmation of Jesus Himself; on the day 
of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost fulfilling the promises made 
by Jesus. St. John points to this continued threefold 
testimony as a proof of the continued unity of Christ, and 
he strengthens and explains the uniformity of this testimony 
on earth, by adding (ver. 7) that it corresponds with the 
three Heavenly Witnesses, from Whom it proceeded, and 
each of Whom had His share in it. In this connection, 
the unity asserted in ver. 7 need not be of the same order 

PART III The Trinity in Scripture. 269 

as that of ver. 8, viz. the unity of testimony ; on the con- CHAP. IL 
trary, as it contains the highest reason of the latter, it must - 
be of a higher order. At any rate, the Witnesses of ver. 7 
appear as Persons giving testimony, whereas the witnesses 
of ver. 8 appear as the instrument or the vehicle of the 
testimony. Hence the unity of the witnesses in ver. 8 can 
be no other than a unity or uniformity of testimony ; but 
the unity of the personal Witnesses, affirmed without any 
restriction, must be taken as an absolute and essential 
unity, in consequence of which They act in absolute uni- 
formity when giving testimony that is, They appear as 
one Witness, with one and the same authority, knowledge, 
and veracity. This is still more manifest from ver. 9, 
where the former testimonies are simply described as " the 
testimony of God," and opposed to the testimony of man ; 
consequently the Heavenly Witnesses must be One, because 
They are the one true God. 

III. The doctrine contained in the above texts is Remark, 
further strengthened and developed in the passages relating 
to one or other of the Three Persons. The Personality and 
Divinity of the Father require no special treatment, because 
they are unquestioned, and, besides, are necessarily implied 
in the personal character of the Son. As to God the Son, 
His distinct Personality and origin from God the Father 
are so clearly contained in the name of Son, that only the 
identity of Substance requires further proof. But both 
Personality and identity of Essence must be distinctly 
proved of the Third Person, Whose name, Spirit, is not 
necessarily the name of a person, but rather the name of 
something belonging to a person. 

SECT. 93. The Doctrine of the New Testament on God 

the Son. 
I. The doctrine of the New Testament on the Son of General 


God centres in the idea of His true and perfect Sonship : 
if true Son, He is of the same Essence as the Father ; if 
of the same Essence as God the Father, He is God just as 
the Father is. 

The texts treating expressly of the Divinity of the Son 
are chiefly found in St. John's Gospel and in his First 

270 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. ii. Epistle, especially in the introduction to chap.i. of the Gospel, 

SBCT..93. and in three speeches of the Son of God Himself: (i) after 

healing the man who had been eight and thirty years under 

his infirmity (v. 17 sqq.) ; (2) in defence of His Divine 

authority, in the continuation of His description of the 

Good Shepherd (x. 14) ; (3) in the sacerdotal prayer after 

the Last Supper (xvii.), in explanation of His position as 

mediator. Other classical texts are Heb. i. and Col. i. 


The Son of II. The Filiation of the Son of God is a filiation in the 

God is truly . .. , . . . . - , . 

such. strictest sense of the word that is, a relation founded upon 
the communication of the same living essence and nature. 

Christ M* i. This first results from the manner in which the name 

" Son of God " is used in Holy Scripture. That name is, 
indeed, also applied to beings not of the same essence as 
the Father, in order to express an analogical sonship, based 
upon adoption, love, or some other analogy. In such cases, 
however, the name is used as a common noun, and never 
applied in the singular, as a distinctive name to any single 
individual, as it is applied to the Person called Word of 
God, Jesus, and Christ. On the other hand, this Person 
is distinguished, as being the Son of God (6 IM'OC fooi)) and 
the only begotten (/zovoytvij'e) Son of God, from all creatures, 
even the highest angels and the beings most favoured by 
grace ; so that His Sonship is given as the ideal and the 
principle of the adoptive sonship granted to men or angels. 
Hence, when applied to the Son of God, the term "Son" 
must be taken in its strict and proper sense, there being no 
reason to the contrary. 

In illustration of these propositions, see, for instance, 
Gal. iv. 7 ; Apoc. xxi. 7 ; Exod. iv. 22. " For to which of 
the Angels hath He said at any time, Thou art My Son ? " 
etc. (Heb. i. 5). The comparison of the real with the 
adoptive sonship is found in the beginning of the Epistle 
to the Hebrews and of the Gospel of St. John (see Heb. 
i- !> 3 5, 6 ; John i. 12). The Jews who did not acknow- 
ledge Jesus as the Messiah, considered it as arrogance 
on His part to call Himself " the Son of God " even in 
the weaker sense, but they treated His claim to be the 
Son equal to the Father as blasphemy (John v. 18), and 

I'ABT II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 271 

demanded His death on that count (Matt. xxvi. 63 ; Luke CHAP. n. 

T i \ SECT. 93. 

xxii. 66-71 ; John xix. 7). 

The difficulty which some find in John x. 35, 36, 
where, according to them, Christ claims no other sonship 
than that granted to creatures, vanishes if we compare 
Christ's words with the accusation which He was repelling. 
The Jews had said, " We stone Thee because that Thou, 
being a man, makest Thyself God." To this Jesus replies, 
" The fact of My being a man does not essentially prevent 
Me from being also God. And if God called His servants 
gods, a fortiori, the name must be given to the Man to 
Whom the Father has given power over the whole world, 
Whom He has constituted the Heir of His dominions, and 
Who, in the Psalm quoted, stands out as God before the 
gods. And if I call Myself the Son of God, it is because 
I claim to be that Heir of God Who, in the Psalm, is intro- 
duced as the Judging God." Cf. Franzelin, De Verb. 
Incarn., th. vii- 

2. The Filiation of the Son of God is further determined Epithets of 
in its true character by the epithets which Holy Scripture Filiation. 
gives it. The Son of God is called " True Son " (i 
John v. 20) ; " the own (iS/oe) Son " (Rom. viii. 32) ; the 
" only-begotten Son," unigenitus, /uovoyevrjc (John iii. 16, 
and i. 14); "the beloved Son" (Matt. iii. 17, and Col. i. 
13); "the only-begotten Son Who is in the bosom of the 
Father,'' and there alone beholds God (John i. 18); 
"the Son born of the Father" (Heb. v. 5, from Ps. ii. 7) ; 
"ex utero genitus" (Ps. cix. 3, in the Vulg.) ; "proceeding 
from God," t-yo> jap IK TOV GEOV ifA0ov (John viii. 42). 
If sometimes the Son of God is called " First-born " among 
many brethren, or from the dead, or of all creatures, the 
sense is that the Son of God, as only true Son, is not 
merely begotten by His Father before any creature received 
existence, but that He also is the exemplar, the principle, 
and the last end of all beings (Apoc. iii. 14), and especially 
of the adoption of rational beings into the Sonship of God. 
This idea is magnificently set forth in Col. i. 12-19, the 
classical text on the primogeniture of Christ : " Giving 
thanks to God the Father, . . . Who hath translated us 
into the kingdom of the Son of His love ; . . . Who is the 

272 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. ii. image of the invisible God, the First-born of every creature : 
SECTjtt. f or - n pjj m were a jj thjngg cr eated in heaven and on earth, 

visible and invisible : ... all things were created by Him 
and in Him (c auroV) : and He is before all, and by Him 
all things consist." On the ground of this original primo- 
geniture now follows the other : " And He is the Head of 
the body, the Church : Who is the Beginning, the First-born 
from the dead: that in all things He may hold the primacy, 
because in Him it hath well pleased the Father that all 
fulness should dwell." 

These passages fully show that the formal and proper 
reason why Christ is called Son of God is not His wonderful 
generation and regeneration as man. Texts which seem 
to imply this ought to be interpreted so as to agree with 
the above. 

The Son 3. The reality and perfection of the Sonship is further 

Father? e described when the Son is presented as the most perfect 
image of the Father, reproducing the glory, the Substance 
the Nature and the fulness of the Divinity of the Father, 
equal to the Father, and a perfect manifestation or revela- 
tion of His perfection. "His Son . . . Who, being the 
brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance, and 
upholding all things by the word of His power "(Heb. i. 3); 
" Who, being in the form of God, thought it no robbery 
to be equal to God" (Phil. ii. 6; see also Col. i. 15, 20, 
and ii. 9 ; John xiv. 9). 

rhe son of II. The Son of God is represented in the New Testa- 
-HisDivine ment as God just as His Father is, all the names and 
attributes of God being bestowed upon Him. 

i. The substantive nouns " God " and " Lord," are given 
to the Person Who is also named the Son of God, in such 
a manner that nothing but the possession of the Divine 
Essence can be signified by them. 

"Gjd." (a) The name " God," Gtoe, besides the express affirma- 

tion that " the Word was God " (John i. i), is applied at 
least five times to the Person of God the Son : John xx. 28 
(6 Gtocftou) ; Heb. i. 8, quoting from Ps. xliv., where 6 9>c 
renders the Hebrew Elohim ; " Waiting for the coming 
of the great God and our Saviour" (Tit. ii. 13) ; "That we 
may know the true God, and may be in His true Son : Thif 

PAUT II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 273 

is the true God, and life eternal" (i John v. 20; also CHAP, n 
Rom. ix. 5). These expressions are the more significant E ffi? J 
because in the New Testament the name 6 0toe is exclu- 
sively reserved for God. Besides this, there are in the 
New Testament many quotations from the Old Testament 
in which texts undoubtedly referring to God, because the 
ineffable name Jehovah is their subject, are applied to Christ 
For instance Heb. i. 6 = Ps. xcvi. 7 ; Heb. i. 10-12 = Ps. ci. 
(or cii. in the Hebrew) ; Mai. iii. i, quoted by Mark i. 2, 
Matt. xi. 10, Luke vii. 27. The explanation of the name 
Jehovah as "the First and the Last," given in the Old 
Testament, is, in the New Testament, repeatedly applied 
to Christ, with the similar expressions, " Beginning and 
End," "Alpha and Omega," " Who is, Who was, and Who 
is to come " (Apoc. i. 17 ; xxi. 6 ; xxii. 13). 

(b] The name " Lord" is more commonly given to the "Lord." 
Son of God than the name God. When the Father and 
the Son are mentioned together, and the Father is called 
God, the Son is always called the Lord. The reason of 
this difference, after what has been said above, is not that 
the Son of God ought not to be called God as well as 
Lord. Where the Son is named Lord, He appears as 
manifesting in His Incarnation the dominion or sovereignty 
of God, Whose ambassador He is, and as the holder of a 
special sovereignty in His quality of Head of creation 
generally and of mankind in particular. On the other hand, 
God the Father, as the " unoriginated " holder of the Divine 
Nature, may be emphatically called God. Moreover, the way 
in which Holy Scripture applies the name of Lord to the 
Son of God, and the way in which it qualifies the same, 
clearly show that this name expresses in Christ a truly 
Divine excellence and dignity, just as the name God 
expresses the Divine Essence and Nature. Consequently, 
Lord in the New Testament is equivalent to Adonai in 
the Old. In the Old Testament the title " the Lord " had 
become a proper name of God ; it would, therefore, never 
be applied without restriction and as a proper name to a 
person who did not possess the same Divine dignity. But 
no restriction is made ; on the contrary, Christ is called 
" the only sovereign Ruler and Lord " Dominator et 


274 <d Manual of CatJiolic Theology. TBOOK n. 

CHAP. ii. Dominus, 6 /HOVOQ SEO-TTOTJJC KO! Kvptog (Jude 4) ; " the 

SHCT^S. Lord of gi ory (! Cor. ii. 8); "the Lord of Lords and 

King of Kings " (Apoc. xvii. 14, and elsewhere). The 

sovereignty of the " Lord of all " necessarily extends to 

all that comes from God, and is the foundation of the 

unity of the Christian worship in opposition to the worship 

of many lords by the heathen (cf. I Cor. viii. 5, 6). 

Attributes 2. Not only are the substantive nouns " God " and 

OYione " Lord " given to the Son of God, but likewise all the 

catedofthe predicates which express attributes proper to God alone, 

are stated of Him. Christ Himself (John xvi. 15) claims 

all such predicates : " All things whatsoever the Father 

hath, are Mine." And again, "All things that are Mine 

are Thine, and Thine are Mine" (xvii. 10). "What things 

soever (the Father) doeth, these the Son also doeth in like 

manner" (v. 19). 

In detail, the Son is described as equal to the Father 
in the possession of that being and life in virtue of 
which God is the principle of all being and of all life out- 
side of Him ; in the possession of the attributes con- 
nected with such essential being and life ; and particu- 
larly in the Divine dignity which makes God the object of 
adoration. "All things were made by Him [the Word], 
and without Him was made nothing that was made" (John 
i. 3 ; cf. Col. i. 16, 17 ; I Cor. viii. 6 ; John viii. 25). " As 
the Father raiseth up the dead and giveth life, so the Son 
also giveth life to whom He will. . . . For, as the Father 
hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son also to 
have life in Himself" (John v. 21, 26 ; i John i. 2, etc.). 

The texts in which the Son is represented as the principle 
through Whom (per quern, St' ou) all things are made, and 
the Father as the principle from Whom (ex quo, t% ov) all 
things are made, do not deny the equality of the Son with 
the Father, but point to the different manner in which the 
Son possesses the Divine Nature, viz. as principium de 
principle ; that is, as communicated to Him by the Father. 
This remark also solves most of the apparent difficulties 
arising from texts where Christ seems to object to certain 
Divine attributes being given to Him, as John v. 19 ; vii. 
16 ; Matt. xx. 28. In Mark xiii. 32 the question is not 

PART II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 275 

whether the end of the world is known to the Son of God, CHAP, u 
but whether the knowledge is communicable. 

The eternity of the Son is indicated where He is said 
to have existed before the world (John i. I ; xvii. 5, 28 ; 
viii. 58) ; His omnipresence by the assertion that He is in 
heaven and on earth ; His omniscience by His knowledge 
of the hearts of men and His prevision of the future ; His 
omnipotence appears in the miracles which He worked by 
His own power, and also in the forgiveness of sin ; He 
proclaims Himself the sovereign Teacher, Lawgiver, and 
Judge when He says, " All power is given to Me in heaven 
and in earth" (Matt, xxviii. 18 ; John v. 22). 

3. If the Son of God is truly such, if He is God and Divine 
Lord, if He possesses the attributes proper to God alone, to theSon. 1 
Divine honour should certainly be paid to Him. We find 
Him laying claim to this honour, "that all may honour 
the Son as (icaflwe) they honour the Father " (John v. 23). 
And the Apostle declares that it is due : " In the name of 
Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, 
on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. ii. 10). See Card. 
Newman's Athanasius, i. p. 144. On the Divine attributes 
and works of Christ, consult Bellarmine, Controv. de Christo, 
1. i., c. 7, 8 ; Greg, of Valentia, De Trin. \. i. On His 
Divine dignity see Franzelin, De Verb. Incarn., th. v. ; 
Knoll. De Deo, 86. 

III. The likeness of the Essence of the Son to that of Unity of 
the Father, implied in His Sonship and Divinity, neces- rlther^nd 
sarily consists in a perfect and indivisible unity of Essence. 

For there can be but one God, and the Son is spoken of as 
the God (6 9toc) consequently as one with the Father. 
The same unity of Essence is formally affirmed by Christ : 
" I and the Father are one," \v la^v (John x. 30). " Be- 
lieve the works, that you may know and believe that the 
Father is in Me, and I in the Father" (ibid. 38). The unity 
could not be affirmed so absolutely if it did not refer to 
real identity of being ; and the mutual immanence or 
irtpiywpriaiQ, of which the Saviour speaks (x. 38) is only 
conceivable on the hypothesis of absolute identity of 
Essence and Nature. i^gne^T 

IV. The whole doctrine on the Son of God is manifi- 

276 A Mamial of Catholic Theology. [COOK n. 

CHAP. n. cently summed up in the prologue to the Gospel of St. 
SECT'S. j j in< i^e Evangelist represents the Second Person of 
the Trinity as He was before and independently of the 
Incarnation, viz. as He is in Himself. He is introduced as 
6 Aoyoe, Verbum, the Word, emphatically, in which the 
fulness of the Divine Wisdom is substantially expressed 
and personified, which, therefore, is one and the same 
substance with God, and not a new being. This Word 
is " with God " that is, a Person distinct from the God 
Who speaks the Word ; but, being the expression of His 
truth and wisdom, the Word is of the same Substance 
as the Divine Speaker. As a Person by Himself, but yet 
of the same Substance as God, the Word is " God " (Qtor;, 
without the article) that is, possessor of the Divine Nature, 
and as truly God as the Divine Person of Whom and with 
\Vhom the Word is. As possessor of the Divine Nature, 
the Word is the principle of all extra-Divine existence, life, 
and knowledge, and therefore in Himself "the Life" that 
cnliveneth all, and "the Light" that enlighteneth all. The 
Word existed "in the beginning" that is, before any 
created thing, and was Itself without beginning, like the 
Divine Wisdom of which It is the expression ; and It 
existed, positively and eminently "in the beginning" that 
is, before all creatures, of which the Word of Wisdom is .the 
principle and which are made by Its power. The Word, 
therefore, is not created or made in time, but generated from 
all eternity out of the Wisdom of the Father as His only 
Word, and hence It is called "the only begotten of the 
Father " (ver. 14), Who indeed came down into the flesh 
with the plenitude of His grace and truth, but, at the same 
time, remained in the bosom of the Father (ver. 1 8). 
Principle for V. It cannot be denied that the New Testament pre- 
of dfffi. uu " sents many difficulties against the Filiation, Divinity, and 
identity of Essence of God the Son. In general these diffi- 
culties arise from expressions used in a symbolical, ana- 
logical, or metaphorical sense, the true literal sense of which 
ought to be determined from the nature of the subject- 
matter ; or they arise from the fact that the Son of God 
is commonly spoken of as God-man, and consequently 
is made the subject of many new attributes which could 

PART II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 277 

not be predicated of Him if He was only God. Other CHAP, n 
predicates, attributable to Him in virtue of His Divinity E fIi 9H ' 
or of His origin from the Father, receive, as it were, a 
new shade or colouring when applied to the God-man, 
and are expressed in a way otherwise unallowable. In 
some passages, e.g. those relating to the sending of the 
Son by the Father, all the above causes of difficulties 
are at work. This Divine mission is entirely unlike 
human missions ; it refers to the Person of the Son either 
before the Incarnation, or in the Incarnation, or to the 
functions of His human nature after the Incarnation. In 
the first two cases the mission is not an act of authority 
on the part of the Father, but rests simply on the relation 
of origin between Father and Son. In the last case only 
such an authority can be understood as is common to 
Father and SOP over the human nature in Christ (cf. infra, 
1 08). The same reflections apply to all the texts in which 
the Son is said to "receive" from the Father, to obey 
Him, to honour Him, or, in general, to acknowledge that 
the Father is His Divine principle. Such texts admit of 
various interpretations, which accounts for the diversity 
of explanations given by the Fathers and the Theologians. 

SECT. 94. The Doctrine of the New Testament on the 

Holy Ghost. 

The impersonal character and the vagueness of the name Thesis. 
" Spirit," " Ghost," " Spirit of the Father," etc., by which 
Holy Scripture designates the Third Person of the Trinity, 
make it necessary to prove that this name really designates 
a distinct Person that is, (i) that the Holy Ghost or the 
Spirit of God is not a mere attribute, accident, or quality 
going out from God to creatures, but a spiritual substance, 
distinct from the beings to whom the Holy Ghost is given ; 
and (2) that the Holy Ghost is not merely the substantial 
vital force or energy of the Father and the Son, but a 
possessor of the Divine Substance, distinct from the other 
two Persons. To this must be added the definition of the 
mode of origin of the Holy Ghost, upon which depends 
His distinct Personality and His Divinity. Theiioiy 

~. ,. /-i Ghost not 

I. The first of the two points mentioned is evident a mere 


278 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. ii. from the fact that the Holy Ghost is represented as the 
SECTJ*. f ree _ actm g cau se of all the gifts of God to man. "All 
these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing 
to every one according as He will " (i Cor. xii. 1 1). Again, 
the Holy Ghost is often described as a subject distinct from 
creatures, knowing, searching, willing, teaching, sending, 
approving, consoling, indwelling, and generally acting as 
an intellectual Being. 

The Holy II. The second point, viz. that the Holy Ghost is a 

disina Person really distinct from the Father and the Son, is 
evident from the fact that the Holy Ghost is represented 
as acting side by side with, and as distinct from the other 
two Persons, and is proposed with Them as an object of 
worship ; from the relations to the other Persons which 
are attributed to Him, and which are such as can exist 
only between distinct Persons for instance, receiving and 
giving and being sent ; and from the manner in which He 
is mentioned together with the Father and the Son as being 
another Person (see texts in 92, I. 3). The proper per- 
sonality of the Holy Ghost is especially characterized in 
the texts which represent Him as not only being in God 
like the spirit of man is in man, but being from God 
(Spirihis qui ex Deo est, EK rou 0ov, I Cor. ii. 12); and 
proceeding from the Father (John xv. 26) as the breath 
proceeds from man, and consequently as having His origin 
in the Father like the Son. 

TheDivinity III. The Substantiality and Personality of the Holy 
' f Ghost being proved, His Divinity results clearly from 
Scripture, which states that the Spirit of God is as much 
in God and as much the holder of the Divine Life as the 
spirit of man is in man. But the spirit of man is but 
the innermost part of his whole substance, whereas the 
Spirit of God, in Whom there are no parts, must be the 
same whole Substance as the Divine Persons from Whom 
He proceeds. Thus, if the name Son implies a likeness 
of Essence to the Father, the name Spirit is still more 
significant, as it implies unity or identity of Essence with 
the Persons from Whom the Spirit proceeds. The classical 
text is I Cor. ii. 10 sqq. : "To us God hath revealed [those 
things] by His Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, 

PART II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 279 

yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the CHAP. n. 
things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him ? E fli_ 94 ' 
So the things also that are of God, no man knoweth, but 
the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit 
of this world, but the Spirit that is of God, that we may 
know the things that are given us from God." 

The Divinity of the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, 
is further confirmed by the following considerations. 

1. Although the Holy Ghost is never called " God "The Holy 

. . Ghost iden- 

purely and simply in Scripture, He is often represented tifiedwith 
as the same subject which, in the context or in some other 
text, is undoubtedly the one true God. The identity of 
the " Spirit " with the " Lord " is formally asserted in 2 Cor. 
iii. 17 ; for this reason He is characterized in the symbol 
of Constantinople as " Lord." 

Instances of texts identifying the Holy Ghost with God : 
I Cor. iii. 16 ; cf. I Cor. vi. 19 ; Acts v. 3, 4 ; xxviii. 25, etc. 

2. The Divine Nature of the Holy Ghost is set forth in The Divine 
the Divine properties, operations, and relations predicated ascribecHo 
of Him, especially in relation to rational creatures. Ghost. y 

(a) The attributes in question principally refer to the 
vivifying influence of the Holy Ghost on created spirits: 
He dwells in the inmost part of the soul and fills it with 
the fulness of God ; He is the principle of life, and especially 
of the supernatural and eternal life of man which is founded 
upon a participation in the Divine Nature ; He dwells in 
man as in His temple, and receives Divine worship. But 
such relations to creatures are proper to God alone, Who 
alone can make His creatures participators of His nature, 
and Who alone, in virtue of His simplicity and immensity, 
penetrates the secret recesses of created spirits. Moreover, 
Holy Scripture, in order to characterize the supernatural 
gifts of God, particularly the supernatural life of grace, as 
a participation of the Divine Life and coming immediately 
from God, represents them as the gifts and operations of 
the Holy Ghost. For this reason the Fathers who opposed 
the Macedonians appealed to these attributes of the Holy 
Ghost more than to others, and the Council of Constanti- 
nople added the title of Life-giver (vivificans, wo7ro*o'c) 
immediately after the name of Lord. 

280 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. ii. Passages from Scripture corroborating our argument 
o.>cT^94. are ver y numerous . J hn vi. 64, with 2 Cor. iii. 6 ; Rom. 
viii. ii ; i Cor. vi. n ; 2 Cor. iii. 18 ; Rom. v. 5 ; John xiv. 
26 ; Acts i. 8 ; Rom. viii. 14 sqq. ; Matt. x. 20, etc. 
Adorabiihy (b) The Divinity of the Holy Ghost results from two other 
cdwS. attributes which He receives in Holy Scripture, and which 
are embodied in the Creed. The first is that He is an 
object of adoration, " Who together with the Father and 
the Son is adored and glorified." This is implied in all 
the texts which describe man as the "temple " of the Holy 
Ghost. " Adorability " being the expression of Divine 
dignity and excellence, Holy Scripture connects with it 
the manifestation of Divine authority, attributing to the 
Holy Ghost the inalienable right to forgive sins and to 
entrust the same power to others ; and, further, the power 
to dispense all supernatural powers, notably the mission 
and authorization of persons endowed with such powers. 
" Receive ye the Holy Ghost : whose sins you shall forgive, 
they are forgiven " (John xx. 22). " The Holy Ghost 
said to them, Separate me Saul and Barnabas for the 
work whereunto I have taken them " (Acts xiii. 2). " Take 
heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the 
Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church 
ofGod"(/<ta/. xx. 28). 

Divine (c) Further, the Divine attribute of knowing all the 

of" h* Holy secrets of creatures and their future free acts is ascribed 
to the Holy Ghost This the Creed expresses, by saying 
that the Holy Ghost " spake through the prophets." More- 
over, the original knowledge and the communication of 
the mysteries hidden in God and of all Divine truth is 
likewise ascribed to the Holy Ghost. The reason which 
the Apostle gives for this is that the Spirit of God is in 
God. Hence we have a double argument in favour of His 
Divinity : viz. the Holy Ghost is in man as God alone can 
be in man, and He is in God as God alone can be in Him- 
self. See I Cor. ii. 10-12. Compare also, "For prophecy 
Giiosft'he' came not by the will of mail at any time : but the holy 
whatTs' 6 ^ men of God spoke inspired by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet. 
o,rL n tV n >. 21) ; i Cor. xiv. 2 ; Dan. ii. 28. 

3. Lastly, the Divine Nature of the Holy Ghost is 


II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 281 

manifested by His relation to the human nature of the Son CHAP. n. 
of God. Whatever is Divine and supernatural in Christ, 
His attributes as well as His operations, is referred to the 
Holy Ghost as its principle ; the whole of the Divine unction 
in virtue of which the man Jesus is "the Christ" (the anointed) 
is attributed to the Holy Ghost, so as to make Him the 
medium of the Hypostatic Union and of its divinizing 
effects upon the humanity of Christ. Hence also the resur- 
rection and glorification of Christ are attributed to the 
Holy Ghost as well as to the Father (Rom. viii. n). 
Christ is led by the Spirit into the desert (Luke iv. i) ; 
He casts out devils in the Spirit (Matt. xii. 28). See Luke 
iv. 18 ; Heb. ix. 14; Matt. xii. 31, 32. 

IV. The origin of the Spirit from Father and Son The relation 
is also clearly stated in the New Testament. It is implied Ghost to the 
in the phrase "Spirit of God;" for this, according to Son."' 
I Cor. ii. 12, is equivalent to " Spirit out of, or from, God " 
(ex Deo, rlt Trvtv^a TO IK TOV Gcou). But as the Son is 
God as well as the Father, and as both are but one God, 
the Spirit of God is necessarily "from" the Father and 
the Son as from His principle. This argument is abun- 
dantly confirmed by Holy Scripture, especially in the 
speech of our Lord after the Last Supper. 

1. The Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of the Son, as T> e Hol y 
well as the Spirit of the Father. "God hath sent the Spirit of the 
Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father " 

(Gal. iv. 6; cf. Rom. viii. 9; I Pet. i. n; Phil. i. 19). 
The expressions, " Spirit of Jesus or of Christ," may, indeed, 
be taken as referring to the indwelling of the Holy Ghost 
in the humanity of Christ ; this indwelling, however, is not 
an accidental one : the Holy Ghost is the own Spirit 
of Christ. 

2. Christ expressly declares that the Holy Ghost, as The Holy 

/-/ ii i Ghost re- 

" Spirit of truth, takes and receives from the Son what ceives from 

. , , the Son who) 

the Son has received from the Father and possesses in the Son has 
common with the Father. "But when the Spirit of truth with the 
shall come, He will teach you all truth : for He shall not 
speak of Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He 
shall speak : and the things that are to come He will show 
you. He shall glorify Me : because He shall receive of 

282 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n 

CHAP. ii. Mine, and will declare it to you. All things whatsoever 
SKCT._94. My F at her hath are Mine. Therefore I said, He shall 

receive of Mine, and declare it to you " (John xvi. 13-15). 
The Son 3. Christ further declares that the Son, in the same 

nCiyGhost. manner as the Father, sends the Holy Ghost, which is only 
possible if the Holy Ghost has His eternal existence in 
God, from the Son as well as from the Father. " But when 
the Paraclete shall come, Whom I will send you from the 
Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the 
Father, He shall give testimony of Me " (John xv. 26 ; 
see also xvi. 7). Note that " sending " cannot be under- 
stood as an act of authority, except in the wider sense of 
causing, in any way whatsoever, another person to act. 
Applied to the Persons of Holy Trinity, the Father cannot 
be sent (nor does Holy Scripture ever speak of the Father 
as being sent) ; the Son and the Holy Ghost are sent by 
the Father, and the Holy Ghost is sent by the Son, inasmuch 
as the Son is begotten by the Father, and the Spirit pro- 
ceedeth from both : the relations of origin are the only 
conceivable foundation of missions on the part of the 
Divine Persons. (See infra, p. 343.) 

^Fa^her 1 " 4- Finally, tne constant order in which the Three 

Smi, and' Persons are named, in the form of Baptism, and in I John 
ihows'ihe V> ^' can On ^ y k satisfactorily accounted for by saying 
procession that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son. St. Basil 

from the , 

son. thus comments on this point : " Let them learn that the 

Spirit is named (in the form of baptism) with the Son as 
the Son with the Father. For the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost are given in the 
same order. Therefore, as the Son stands to the Father, 
so the Holy Ghost stands to the Son according to the 
traditional order of the formula of Baptism. If, then, the 
Spirit is joined to the Son, and the Son to the Father, 
it is clear that the Spirit also is joined to the Father. . . . 
There is one Holy Ghost, enounced, He also, in the singular 
number, joined through the one Son to the one Father, and 
completing through Himself the Blessed Trinity, to be 
glorified for evermore " (De Spirit u ., c. xvii. 18). 

PART II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 283 


SECT. 95. The Doctrine of the Old Testament on the SECT - 95. 


We learn from the New Testament that many texts in General 
the Old Testament point to the Blessed Trinity, although 
in themselves (and probably in the minds even of the 
inspired writers) the meaning attributed to them as quoted 
in the Gospels and Epistles is not evident. There are, 
however, many passages unmistakably referring to God the 
Son, and describing Him with a distinctness and fulness 
almost equal to anything in St. John and St. Paul. As 
an instance, we may refer to the doctrine on the " Logos " 
or Son of God in John i. and Heb. i., as compared with 
Prov. viii. and Wisd. vii. 

It is natural to expect more references to the Son than Morere- 

1 ferences to 

to the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament, because it pre- the Son than 

J ' r to the Holy 

pares and announces the coming and manifestation of the Ghost 
Son in the Incarnation. Where the Son is spoken of as 
the " Begotten Wisdom," Sapientia genita, the Spirit Who 
proceeds from Him is designated, with sufficient clearness, 
by the term Spiritns sapienti<z, the Spirit of Wisdom. The 
central point, however, of all the teachings of the Old 
Testament on the Trinity is the Second Person. The 
allusions to, or more distinct expositions of the mystery of 
the Trinity in the Old Testament are of more interest to 
the commentator on Holy Scripture, and to the historian 
of Dogma, than to the dogmatic theologian, who finds his 
demonstration perfect in the New Testament, and rather 
throws light upon than receives light from the older refer- 
ences. For this reason we shall reduce the present section 
to the smallest compass, confining ourselves to the outlines, 
and giving references to material for deeper studies. 

The Second of the Divine Persons appears in the Old 
Testament in three progressive forms, distributed over 
three periods. The first period is prelude to the future 
sending of the Son, and is found in the theophanies in 
the times of the Patriarchs, Moses, and the Judges. At 
'this first stage, the Second Person bears the general 
and indefinite character of an ambassador, coming from 
God, representing God, and Himself bearing the name 

284 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. ii. of God. The second form is the direct prophecy of the 
.ECT.ji 3 . j ncarna tj on o f a Divine Person, including the information 
that a son of David shall be at the same time Son of God 
and God, and that, in virtue of His Divine Sonship, He 
shall appear as King and Priest pre-eminently, and as the 
spiritual spouse of souls. The third form exhibits a com- 
prehensive description of the Divine origin and essence of 
the Second Person, upon which His threefold functions as 
man are founded. 

First stage: I. The " Angel of the Lord, Jehovah, Elohim" spoken of 
phl^esT in all the theophanies in question, is probably a created 
Angel, acting directly in the name of God. Still, upon the 
whole, the theophanies make the impression that a higher 
Divine envoy is at work, Whose instrument the created 
Angel is, and to Whom the titles " Angel of Jehovah," etc., 
really belong. Among the Fathers a diversity of opinion 
exists as to particular theophanies, but, on the whole, they 
agree in recognizing in them manifestations of the Son of 
God. See Franzelin, De Trin,, th. vi. Cf. Gen. xvi. 7, 8, 
13 ; xviii. 1-19 ; xix. 24; also xxii. n, 14 ; xxxi. 3, n, 13 ; 
Exod. iii. 2 (Heb. and Greek) ; xiii. 21 ; xiv. 19 ; xxiii. 20; 
xxxiii. 14. 

Second II. In David's time, when the Messiah was prophesied 

pro g P e heS e as prefigured by Solomon, the Son of David (2 Kings vii.), 
He is also marked out as Son of God : first in the prophecy 
of Nathan (2 Kings vii.), to which Ps. Ixxxviii. is similar 
in its typical form ; then, in a more marked form, in Pss. ii. 
and cix., where His Sonship is attributed to Divine genera- 
tion, and His eminent dignity of King and Priest is founded 
upon His Sonship. In Ps. xliv. the Messias is represented 
as God and as the Divine Spouse of souls. His Divine 
Sonship is only mentioned a few times more in later books 
of Scripture, e.g. Prov. xxx. 4 ; Micheas v. 2, and Ecclus. 
Ii. ; but His Divinity is asserted very frequently. It ought, 
however, to be remarked that the Messias always appears 
as the Ambassador and as the Anointed of God ; hence, 
when He is mentioned as God, He must be conceived, as 
in Ps. xliv., as a Person distinct from and originated in the 
God Who sends and anoints Him. The signification which 
we attribute to the above passages of Holy Scripture i$ 

PART II.] The Trinity in Scripture. 285 

confirmed by the fact that in the New Testament many of CHAP. n. 
them are expressly applied to Christ, and adduced as E fll_ 95 ' 
proofs of His Divinity. Cf. Isai. vii. 14, with Matt. i. 23 ; 
Isai. xl. 3-1 1, with Mark i. 3 ; Baruch iii. 36-38 ; Zach. xi. 
12, 13, with Matt, xxvii. 9 ; xii. 10, with John xix. 37. 

III. Whereas the Psalms (and similarly the Prophets Third stage: 
and the first three Gospels) represent the Second Person in 
God as Son of God, and as God, the Sapiential books 
describe, under the title of Divinely begotten Wisdom, His 
Divine origin and essence with such comprehensiveness that 
nearly all the utterances of the New Testament may be con- 
sidered as a repetition or a summing up of the older Reve- 
lation. The subject designated as " Wisdom," is represented 
as the substantial exhalation and the personal representa- 
tive of the Divine Wisdom, begotten and born of God 
from all eternity ; as splendour, mirror and image of God, 
distinct from God as from His principle, but of the same 
Essence, and therefore existing in God and with God ; 
executing and governing with Him all His external works, 
and hence the principle and prince of all things, their 
source and ideal, the mediator and the initiator of that 
participation in Divine Life which consists in wisdom. 

These figures are, on the one hand, an introduction to 
or a preparation for the fuller understanding of the Incarna- 
tion, and, on the other hand, a commentary on the words of 
the Psalms concerning the Divine Sonship and the Divine 
Nature of the Messias. The figures of the three Sapiential 
books correspond with the three principal elements of the 
prologue to the Gospel of St. John ; and again, each of 
them corresponds with one of the three principal passages 
in the Psalms, so as to set forth, in order, how the Anointed 
of the Lord, in virtue of His Divine origin and essence, is, 
in Ps. ii., the King pre-eminently ; in Ps. cix., the Priest 
according to the order of Melchisedech ; and in Ps. xliv. 
the beatifying Spouse of Souls. In Prov. viii. Wisdom 
appears as the born Queen of all things, who has dominion 
because she has made all things (cf. John i. : "The Word 
by Whom all things were made ") ; in. Ecclus. xxiv. Wisdom 
appears as the born priestly Mediator between God and 
man, who possesses the priesthood of life not of death, 

286 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. ii. like the Levitical priesthood and who, therefore, is the 
ECT^ps. ^^j MotJier of life (cf. John i., the Logos as Life and 
full of grace) ; lastly, in Wisd. vii., viii., Wisdom appears 
as a Bridegroom, entering into the closest connection 
with souls, filling them with light and happiness (as 
in John i., the Word as Light which enlighteneth every 
man). And, as in these three expositions there is an 
unmistakable progress of tenderness and intimacy, so 
there is a progress in the spirituality, sublimity, and com- 
pleteness in the exposition of the Divine origin and essence 
of the Eternal Wisdom. In Prov. viii., Wisdom simply 
appears as begotten from all eternity ; in Ecclus. xxiv., as 
the Word proceeding from the mouth of the Most High ; 
and in W T isd. vii., as the splendour of the glory of God, 
one with God in essence and existence. 

During the last centuries before the Christian era, the 
Jewish theology had substituted the Chaldaic name Memrah 
(= Word) for the name Wisdom. The change may have 
been due to Ecclus. xxiv., describing Wisdom as proceeding 
from the mouth of God, or to the influence of the Greek 
philosophy (cf. Plato's Logos}. Memrah was made equiva- 
lent (parallel) to the several names of the Angel of the 
Lord (= Maleach Jehovah, Schechinah, Chabod). Thus, 
the name of Word, as signifying the mediator between God 
and the world, was well known to the Jews when St. John 
wrote his Gospel, and this circumstance explains the use of 
the term by the Evangelist. See Card. Newman, 
196, and Atlianasius t ii. 337. 

( 28; ) 


SECT. 96. The Ante-Nicene Tradition on the Dim ne 
Trinity and Unity. 

I. Sufficient proof for the primitive profession of the CHAP. in. 
dogma of the Trinity is afforded by the formula of Baptism, ^fli 96 - 
by the Doxologies in universal use, and by the confessions ^fJsed'in 
of the martyrs. The Doxology, " Glory to the Father and Sf aSS 
to the Son, and to (or with) the Holy Ghost," is an act of 
worship giving Divine honour to all and each of the three 
Persons. The "Acts of the Martyrs" contain, in very 

great number, professions of faith either in the Three Persons 
together or in each one of Them. 

II. The Faith of the Church in the mystery of the Asserted 
Trinity manifested itself especially in the conflict with the hfreScL 
antc-Nicene heresies. Not only did the Church assert the 
distinction of the Persons, but she also defended the abso- 
lute unity and indivisibility of the Divine Substance, from 
which the Sabellians and their allies took the chief argu- 
ment in favour of their heresy. The whole conflict turned 

on this point : that the unity of God ought not to destroy 
the distinction of the Persons, and that the distinction of 
the Persons ought not to destroy the unity of God. The 
position taken up by the Church sufficiently shows how far 
she was from admitting a distinction in the Substance of 
the Persons. Whenever, as in the case of Denis of Alex- 
andria, a writer used expressions that might imply such 
substantial distinction, protests were heard on all sides, 
and Denis himself retracted his unguarded expressions by 
order of Pope Dionysius. The ecclesiastical literature 

288 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ll. 

CHAP. in. anterior ';o the Council of Nicaea contains many expositions 
E fll_ 96 ' of the Catholic dogma on the Trinity, sometimes with 
considerable development. The principal ones are to be 
found in the writings against the Sabellians and against 
the Gnostics of various forms, and in the Apologies against 
the heathen. See Card. Newman, Arians, ch. ii. 

The dim- III. Although the substance of the dogma was well 

cultiesofthe . . . . , _ , ... i/~.< 

Ante-Nicenc known to the faithful, and better still to the Catholic 
Fathers and Doctors, who lived before the Council of 
Nicaea, it is none the less to be expected that their writings 
did not treat the subject with the same definiteness and 
accuracy of expression as later writers. It would, how- 
ever, be going too far to admit that the Fathers had, 
in general, an obscure or a wrong conception of the unity 
of Substance in the Divine Persons ; in such a funda- 
mental dogma, such an error in such quarters would be 
incompatible with the infallibility of the Church. Among 
schismatic writers it is, of course, quite possible to find 
wrong conceptions of the dogma. As a matter of fact, 
from the time of Tatian, who afterwards became a formal 
heretic, certain writers so misunderstood the dogma that 
their utterances did prepare the way for the Arian heresy. 
Nevertheless, if we except the Philosophumena of Hippo- 
lytus and several utterances of Origen (which are, however, 
annulled by opposite utterances of the same author), we 
have no greater fault to find, even with uncatholic writers, 
than a superficial knowledge and inadequate exposition of 
the unity of Essence in the Three Persons. All the expres- 
sions which were seized upon by later opponents of the 
dogma, and were most harshly judged by Catholic theo- 
logians, occur in the writings of the most orthodox of the 
Fathers, and admit of an orthodox interpretation. 

The special difficulties met with in the ante-Nicene 
writings, even the orthodox, lie in the following points : 
i. The authors often lay so much stress upon the cha- 
racter of the Father as source and principle of the other two 
Persons, that they almost seem to conceive the Father alone 
as God pure and simple, and God above all (Deus super 
omnia), and to attribute Divinity to the other Persons 
in a less perfect degree. Holy Scripture itself, hoxvever, 

PAST II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 289 

generally uses the term God, the God (6 Gtoc, etc.) for the CHAP, nt 
Father alone. 

2. Instead of stating the identity of Substance, they 
often speak merely of a substantial connection, or simply 
of a community of power and authority, of activity and 
love, or of the unity of origin. They do so in order to 
refute Ditheism, a system which admits two Gods, the one 
independent of the other. But here, also, Holy Scripture 
had set the example, especially John v. and x. 

3. The generation of the Son is sometimes described 
as voluntary, in order to exclude from it a blind and 
imperative necessity. This, however, admits of a correct 
interpretation, and is found likewise in post-Nicene writers. 

4. Following up Prov. viii., they represent the genera- 
tion of the Son as intended in connection with the creation 
of the world by and through Him. But some (e.g. Ter- 
tullian, C. Prax., cc. v.-vii.) speak with more precision of a 
double generation, or rather of a conception and a gene- 
ration of the Logos. The conception is explained as the 
eternal origin from the Father (\6jog svSmfleroe) ; the 
generation as His temporal mission ad extra, and His 
manifestation in the creation of the world (Xoyoc TrpofyopiKOQ^ 
verbum prolatitiuni) : hence Hippolytus and Tertullian 
sometimes seem only to apply the name of Son to the 
Logos after His external manifestation in creating the 
world, or after the Incarnation, which, as a birth, they 
oppose to the eternal conception. 

5. Lastly, the Fathers point out that the Son and the 
Holy Ghost are visible, whilst the Father is invisible. This 
visibility, however, is only intended to prove the distinction 
of the Persons, and not a difference in the Essence. In 
fact, the Son and the Holy Ghost both appeared under 
sensible forms or symbols, whereas the Father never so 
manifested Himself, it being unbecoming to His character, 
as principle of the Son and the Spirit, to be sent by another. 
The personal characters of the Second and Third Persons 
make it right for Them to be sent as manifesting the 

" We need not by an officious piety arbitrarily force the 
language of separate Fathers into a sense which it cannot 


290 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. in. bear ; nor by an unjust and narrow criticism accuse them 
_-97 O f error . nor impose upon an early age a distinction of 
terms belonging to a later. The words usia and hypostasis 
were naturally and intelligibly, for three or four centuries, 
practically synonymous, and were used indiscriminately for 
two ideas which were afterwards respectively denoted by 
the one and the other." Card. Newman, Arians, p. 444 ; 
cf. Franzelin, th. xi. 

SECT. 97. The Consubstantiality of the Son defined by the 
Council of Niccea. 

False in- I. The term o^toouo-toc, "consubstantial," was used by 

of the the Council of Nicaea to define the identity of substance in 

e Father and the Son When a ppi ied to the con _ 

substantiality of a human father and his son, it implies 
only a specific identity of substance ; that is, that father 
and son are of a like substance, but are not numerically 
one and the same substance. The Arians, applying the 
human sense to the term, argued that the Council admitted 
three Divine Beings or three Gods. Protestant writers, 
and even some Catholic theologians, have lately repeated 
the Arian calumny, wherefore we deem it necessary to 
show briefly, from the post-Nicene tradition, the numerical 
identity of the one Essence in the Three Persons, in virtue 
of which the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one and 
the same God. 

The only II. The simple fact that the dogma of the Trinity 

Christian admits of no other Christian interpretation than that the 

tionTThat Three Persons are one God, suffices to prove that the 

are one' God. Catholic Church held the dogma in this sense, during the 

fourth as well as during all other centuries. The same 

may, however, be gathered also from the following con- 


Consubstan- I. The Homoousion consequent upon generation, is 

ing'from SU '" thus explained by the Fathers against the sophisms of the 

Generation. Arians. In the Divine generation, the Substance of the 

Father is communicated to the Son as it is in human 

generation, with this difference, however, that, on account 

of the simplicity and indivisibility of the Divine Substance, 

it is communicated in its entirety, whereas the human 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 291 

father only communicates and parts with a portion of his CHAP. HI. 
substance (cf. St. Athan., De Deer. Nic. Syn., nn. 20, 23, 24). E fli 97 ' 
In God, as in man, generation implies a communication of 
life. But in man the communication consists in giving a 
new life ; in God the communication necessarily consists 
in the giving of the same identical life. For if the life re- 
ceived by the Son were a new life, it would not even be 
similar to the eternal life of the Father ; and, consequently, 
the generation would not be Divine. The difference, then, 
in the substance and life of the Father and the substance 
and life of the Son, is merely in this : the Father possesses 
them as uncommunicated, the Son possesses the same as 
communicated or received (St. Basil, C. Eunom., 1. ii., at 
the end). These two arguments show also that, in the 
mind of the Fathers, no specific unity is possible in God, 
but only numerical identity of substance and life. 

2. The attributes which the Fathers give to the unity The unity of 

3 the Three 

of the Divine Persons are such as to mark it as identity of Persons is 

identity of 

Essence and not merely as specific unity. They describe Substance. 
it as substantial and indivisible coherence and insepara- 
bility, far above the unity which similarity or relationship 
establishes between human persons, and more like the 
organic unity of parts of the same whole, such as the 
unity of root, stem, and branch ; or of body, arm, and 
finger. But, considering the simplicity of the Divine 
Substance, a coherence such as described can only be con- 
ceived as the simultaneous possession of the same Sub- 
stance by the Three Persons. The Fathers further compare 
the unity of the Divine Persons to the inherence and 
immanence of the qualities and faculties of created minds 
in the substance of the mind ; pointing out, at the same 
time, this difference, that the Son and the Holy Ghost are 
not accidents of the Father, but are His own Substance, 
as inseparable from the Father as His own Wisdom and 
Holiness (cf. St. Athanasius, Or. Contra Arianos, iv., n. I 
sqq. ; and St. Gregory of Nazianzum, Or., 31 (al. 37), n. 4). 
They describe the mutual co-inherence of the Persons as 
consequent upon their consubstantiality, and as being the 
principle of the unity of Divine actions (see Petav., De 
Trin. t 1. iv., c. 16). They oppose the unity of essence as it 

29 2 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. in. exists in God to that which exists between human persons 
suc-L.97. that is, to a specific or mental unity (see St. Greg, 
of Naz., I.e., n. 14, 16). Lastly, they use the strongest terms 
at their disposal to describe the unity of the three Divine 
Persons as the most perfect possible identity of substance 
(Kilber, De Deo, disp. v.). 

Conse- 3. That the Fathers taught the absolute unity of the 

quences de- 1-11 

c'.ucedby Divine Essence appears also from the way in which they 

the Fathers J 

irom the spoke of the mystery of the Trinity. Far from being 

Consub- . * 

siamiaiity. the greatest of all mysteries, it would not be a mystery 
at all if the unity of the Persons were not more than a 
specific unity (St. Basil, De Sp. S., c. 18 ; St. Greg, of Nyssa, 
Or. Cat., n. 3). The doctrine of the Fathers holds the right 
mean between the errors of the Jews and the Sabellians 
on the one hand, and those of the Arians and pagans on 
the other. For with the former it denies the multiplica- 
tion of the Divine Nature, yet without denying the 
distinction of Persons ; with the latter it admits the dis- 
tinction of Persons, yet without limiting their unity to a 
similarity or likeness of essence (St. Greg, of Nyssa., /..). 
The Fathers represent the unity of Essence as admitting 
of no other distinction than that based upon the divers 
relations of origin ; so that there would be no difference 
whatsoever, except for this relation of origin and the con- 
sequent manner of possessing the Divine Essence. But, if 
the Essence itself were multiplied, the Persons would be 
three distinct Persons of the same species, independently of 
their origin (St. Greg. Naz., Or., 31 (al. 37), n. 3). 
Mind of the 4. Finally, the two great controversies in connection 
iiiMtrated with the Council of Nicaea throw much light on the 

ly the Semi- . ,, , . , , 

ArianCon- present question. They are the controversy with the 
c> Semi-Arians, against whose bjuotovaiog (similarity of Sub- 
stance) the Catholics successfully defended the bpooixnog ; 
and the controversy among the Catholics themselves on 
the question "whether not only one ovaia, but also one 
v7roCTTa<ne, ought to be affirmed of the Trinity." The 
Latin doctors, who translated viroaraaiq by substantia 
(and some Greeks who understood it in the same sense) 
objected to the expression " three hypostases," because it 
seemed to imply a trinity of Substances, and consequently 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 293 

a triplication of the Essence. The Greeks, however, ex- CHAP, in 
plained that such was not the meaning they wished to E fl_ 97- 
convey by the expression used, but that they agreed with 
their Latin opponents on the point of doctrine. They had 
used the words, "three hypostases," only because the 
Greek rpta irpoautra (which corresponds with the Latin 
tres persona) had been misused by the Sabellians to con- 
fuse the real distinction of the Divine Persons. (See 
Kuhn, 29 ; Franzelin, th. ix., n. ii. ; Card. Newman, 
Arians, 365, 432.) 

This question was thoroughly debated in the seventh 
century, when the doctrine of Tritheism was formally 
brought to the fore, and when the discussions on the two 
natures of Christ and His twofold operation made a thorough 
investigation of the unity of the Divine Essence necessary. 
The opponents of the Monothelites, notably Sophronius, 
and the Councils held against them, leave no doubt as to 
what was the doctrine of the Church. 

III. The absolute numerical and substantial unity of the unity of 
Divine Essence is essentially connected with the received theVe^n of 
expression that the Three Persons are one God and not ofGocL*** 
three gods. If the Essence was divided or distributed 
among three persons, there would be three gods. Nor 

could any other form of unity, added to such merely specific 
unity, prevent the division of essence. No community 
of origin, of love, of operation, of compenetration, will 
prevent separate substances from being separate sub- 
stances. Besides, a perfect unity of operation cannot be 
conceived in separate substances, any more than perfect 
compenetration or inexistence : hence, where these are, 
there is unity of substance. If, therefore, the Fathers some- 
times give the community of origin, of love, and operation, 
etc., as a reason why the Three Persons are one God, they 
do not intend to give the adequate and formal reason, 
which is, according to the teaching of the Fathers them- 
selves, the absolute unity and identity of the Divine 
Essence, expressed in the 6/iooucnoe- 

IV. In consequence of the absolute identity of Essence Three Per 
or Substance, the Three Persons, although each of Them is three God* 
God, are not three Gods, but one God. " We are forbidden 

294 -d Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. in. by the Catholic Religion to say that there are three Gods 
~ ' or three Lords " (Athanasian Creed). According to a 
rule common to all languages, the plural of substantive 
nouns and predicates signifies not only a plurality of 
subjects designated by the nouns, but also a multiplication 
of the substance named, in each of the many subjects. 
This is because in all languages substantive nouns desig- 
nate the substance and the subject in which it is. But in 
God, the Substance expressed by the noun God is not 
multiplied or distributed among the subjects who hold it ; 
therefore the Three Persons are one God, net three Gods. 
(Cf. St. Thomas, /., q. 39.) The same law of language 
applies to verbal nouns like Creator, Judge, but not to 
adjective and verbal predicates like living, saving. (See 
Card. Newman, Arians, p. 185 ; St. At/an.,ii. 438.) 

SECT. 98. The Tradition of East and West on the Con- 
substantiality of the Holy Ghost with the Father and 
tlie Son. 

H-i^vof I. Just as the Arians misused the Homoousios of 

the ( ireelc 

schismatics. Nicsea against the consubstantiality of the Son with the 
Father, so did the Greek schismatics misuse the words 
" Who proceedeth from the Father," used by the Council 
of Constantinople to define the consubstantiality of the 
Holy Ghost with the other two Persons. They read the 
definition as if it excluded the Son from all participation 
in the communication of the Divine Essence to the Holy 
Ghost. It is, however, easy to show that the Greek 
Fathers of the fourth century, to whom the schismatics 
especially appeal, founded all their argument in favour of 
the origin of the Holy Ghost from the Father and His con- 
substantiality with the Father, on the assumption that the 
Third Person proceeds from the Son. Thus the schismatics, 
who reproach the Latin Church with making a change in the 
symbol, are themselves guilty of distorting the true sense 
of the symbol, of forsaking the guidance of their orthodox 
Fathers, and of embracing the cause of the Macedonians. 

OurMethod. II. We shall here reproduce the doctrine of the Greek 
Fathers of the fourth century on the procession of the 
Holy Ghost. This will afford us a twofold advantage. 

PART II] The Trinity in Tradition. 

(i) The difference of conception and expression which CHAP. in. 
exists between the Latin and Greek Fathers on this subject SE flL 9 *' 
will be made clear, and possible misunderstandings will be 
obviated ; (2) the proper value of the Greek mode of con- 
ceiving and expressing the procession of the Holy Ghost 
will be rightly understood. 

We shall divide this section into three parts : (A) The Division, 
doctrine of the Greek Church on the Divinity of the Holy 
Ghost (B) The Greek manner of conceiving and express- 
ing the procession, compared with the Latin conception 
and expression. (C) The origin and tendency of the 
negation of the procession of the Holy Ghost from the 
Father and the Son, which is properly the "heresy of 
the schism." 

A. The Doctrine of the Eastern Church of the Fourth 
Century on the Origin of the Holy Ghost as the Foundation 
of His Consubstantiality with the Father and the Son. 

III. In order to get at a right understanding of this Heresy of 
doctrine, it is necessary to bear in mind the question at matomacnl" 1 
issue between the Church and the " Pneumatomachi " (or 
Macedonians), viz. whether the Holy Ghost had such an 
origin from God that, by reason of His origin, He received, 
not a new essence, but the Essence of God. The Pneu- 
matomachi, most of whom were Semi-Arians, conceded 
more or less the consubstantiality consequent upon genera- 
tion (at least the Homoiousios) ; but they thought that 
in God, as also in man, no other consubstantiality was 
possible but that founded upon generation. Hence they 
argued that the Holy Ghost, in order to be consubstantial 
with the Father and the Son, ought to be generated by 
either of Them, which would cause the Holy Ghost to be 
either the son of the Father and the brother of the Son, 
or the son of the Son and grandson of the Father (St 
Athan., Ad. Serap., i., n. 15 sqq. ; iii., n. I sqq.). As, how- 
ever, both suppositions are absurd, it follows that the Holy 
Ghost must have an origin similar to that of the other 
things which are made through (m) the Son ; and therefore 
no consubstantiality with the Father, no Divine Nature can 
be claimed for the Holy Ghost (cf. Franzelin, th. xxxviii.). 

296 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. in. Against this heretical opinion the Divinity of the Holy 

9 ' Ghost could be defended in two ways. 

Definition of IV. The first way, more suited to a dogmatic definition, 
of'consun'ti- was to affirm directly what the opponents denied, namely, 
nope, A. . ^e origin of the Holy Ghost from the Substance of the 
Father, and then to show that, though not generated, the 
Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father as really as the Son 
proceeds from Him. This way was chosen by the Council 
of Constantinople, which combining the texts (John xv. 
26), " Who proceeded! from the Father," irapa rou irarpoQ, 
and (i Cor. ii. 12) "the Spirit Who is of God," IK row Qiov 
defined that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father. 
Procession It was not necessary to assert here the procession of 

So why the Holy Ghost from the Son, because the adversaries did 
'' not deny it, but, on the contrary, maintained it, and because 
the assertion of the origin of the Holy Ghost from the 
Father determined at once the relation of principle which 
the Son bears to the Holy Ghost. Moreover, according 
to the Pneumatomachi, the procession of another Person 
from the Father was, as a matter of course, effected through 
that Person Who proceeds from Him as Son. It was not 
even fitting or advisable for the Council to mention the 
procession from the Son. The object of the Council was 
to put the origin of the Holy Ghost on a footing with 
the origin of the Son with respect to consubstantiality 
with the Father ; the opponents were imbued with Arian 
ideas, and denied the Divinity of the Son ; hence they could 
not be refuted by affirming the procession of the Holy 
Ghost from the Son. Besides, the Council wished to found 
its definition upon Holy Scripture, but the texts which 
formally teach the procession from the Father do not 
mention the procession from the Son. If it had wished to 
mention the Son, the Council ought to have appealed to 
The Symbol other texts, e.g. in which the Holy Ghost is said to receive 
phfnius. pl (take) from the Son. This is really done in the more 
explicit symbol given by St. Epiphanius in the Ancoratus 
(n. 121), a symbol much used in the East, and perhaps 
adopted by the Council as the basis of its definition. The 
Ancoratus was written A.D. 374; that is, seven years before 
the Council. It is not impossible, however, that, after the 

PART II] The Trinity in Tradition. 297 

Council, Epiphanius made some additions to the Symbol CHAP. m. 
in harmony with the definition. The text is, "And we 
believe in the Holy Ghost, Who spake in the Law and 
preached in the Prophets and descended on the Jordan, 
Who speaketh in the Apostles and dwelleth in the Saints. 
And this is how we believe in Him : He is the Holy 
Spirit, the Spirit of God, the perfect Spirit, the Paraclete, 
uncreated, Who proceedeth from the Father and receiveth 
[or taketh, \a/j.fiavn/j.tvov (middle voice) ] from the Son, 
and is believed to be from the Son (ro SK row Trarpog tKno- 


Iii the West, where the position taken up by the Pneu- 
matomachi was not so well understood or borne in mind 
as in the East, the definition of the Council of 381 was 
soon found fault with ; and whenever the Eastern doctors 
were asked for fuller explanations, they gave it in the 
terms of the Symbol of St. Epiphanius. Several Eastern 
Churches have adopted the same symbol in their Liturgy 
(cf. Van der Moeren, pp. 175 and 178). 

V. The second way to oppose the Pneumatomachi was Comrover- 

c n~ 1 T T l Slal "^'h"* 1 

to argue from their own affirmation, viz. " that the Holy or the 
Ghost has His origin from and through the Son," and to 
show how this origin from the Son is such that it implies 
consubstantiality with the Son and with the Father. This 
method was adopted by most of the Fathers. If they 
had denied or had not acknowledged the procession of 
the Holy Ghost from the Son, they could have reproved 
the Macedonians for admitting it. At any rate, they 
would have had an easy answer to the objection that 
the third Person, owing His origin to the Son, is grandson 
to the Father ; viz. by stating that the Holy Ghost in no 
wise proceeds from the Son, but only from the Father. 
But the Fathers do neither ; on the contrary, they accept 
the procession from the Son as a matter of course, and 
make a true conception of this procession from the Son the 
central point of the whole controversy with the Pneumato- 
machi. The line of defence taken by the Fathers is invari- 
ably to correctly determine the nature of the origin of the 
Holy Ghost from the Son. We shall consider it (i) in its 
positive aspect ; (2) in its apologetic or defensive aspect 

298 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. in. I. The thesis of the Fathers. 
ECT.J) . ^^ The Fathers first show negatively that the origin 

HoiVchost of the Holy Ghost through the Son is not like the origin of 

From'the creatures through the Son, but should be conceived as an 
origin front the Son, or as the production of a hypostasis 
of the same kind as its principle, proceeding from the Sub- 
stance of the Son, and therefore inseparably united with 
Him. They state that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the 
Son as the Son proceeds from the Father, viz. as principle 
of creation, and especially as principle of the supernatural 
sanctification of creatures, and of the conformation with 
the Son and the union with the Father implied in the pro- 
cess of sanctification. Hence it is in and through the Holy 
Ghost that the Son creates, sanctifies, and elevates creatures 
to conformity and union with Himself. But this would be 
impossible if the Substance and power of the Son were not 
communicated to the Holy Ghost that is, if the Holy 
Ghost were not of and in the Substance of the Son (cf. 
St. Athan., Ad Serap., 1. i. ; St. Basil, Ep., 38 (al. 43), n. 4, 
etc.). The Fathers call the Holy Ghost, in opposition to 
the external works, the power and activity (virtus et operatic, 
ii/E/jyaa), and sometimes also the quality (TrofoVrje) of the Son. 
These expressions are used of the Son in relation to the 
Father ; but when applied to the Holy Ghost in relation to 
the Son, the Fathers illustrate their signification by com- 
paring the Son to a flower, of which the Holy Ghost is 
the perfume, or to a mouth, an arm, a branch, of which the 
Holy Ghost is the breath, the finger, the flower. They 
further convey the notions of consubstantiality by com- 
paring the relations of the two Persons to honey and its 
sweetness, to a spring and its waters, to water and its 
steam, to a ray of light and its radiance, to fire and its heat 
(cf. Petav., 1. vii., c. 5 and 7). 

The Holy (.) The Fathers declare positively that the origin of 

Ghost stands ._-.,, ,. , 

to the Son the Holy Ghost from the substance of the Son must be 
stands to the put on the same level as the origin of the Son from the 
Father, and that the precedence of the Son as principle of 
the Holy Ghost does not destroy the equality and real 
unity between these two Persons any more than the prece- 
dence of the Father as principle of the Son causes any real 

PART IT.] T/ie Trinity in Tradition. 299 

inequality between Father and Son. They lay so much CHAP, in 
stress on this parallel that they apply to the procession of SE ^Ii_ 9S - 
the Holy Ghost from the Son all the expressions used to 
describe the generation of the Son from the Father (except 
" begotten " and " Son "), although they are aware that this 
makes it more difficult to answer the question why the 
Holy Ghost is not the son of the Son. (See St. Basil, 
C. Etin., 1. v.) In countless places they call the Holy 
Ghost the Word (yerbum = /oij/ua, not Xoyoc), the Effulgence, 
the Image (EIKWV), the Countenance, the Seal, the Figure, 
and the Form (^apaKT^p, juopfr'j) of the Son ; all of which 
expressions convey the idea of consubstantiality between 
the Holy Ghost and the Son, as much as when they are 
used of the Son in relation to the Father. (See Pctav., 1. vii., 
c. 7 ; Franzelin, th. xxxvii.) 

(*:.) In the third place the Fathers show that, since the Procession 
Holy Ghost stands to the Son as the Son to the Father, Father* 
He must also proceed from the Father through the Son, the So^ 
and that, though not generated like the Son, He none 
the less receives through the Son, as really as the Son 
Himself, the Substance of the Father. The substantial 
connection of the Holy Ghost with the Father through 
the Son, and vice versd, is illustrated by the comparisons 
given above (a), the three Persons standing in the relation 
of root, flower, and odour, light, ray, and radiance, etc. ; 
the Son and the Holy Ghost are to the Father as His 
mouth and the breath proceeding from it, or as His arm 
and finger. The Son is the Truth and Wisdom of the 
Father ; the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Wisdom and of 
Truth. Cf. St. Athan., Ad. Serap., i., n. 19-21 ; and the 
chapter of St. Basil, C. Eujiom., 1. v., inscribed, " That, as the 
Son stands to the Father, so the Holy Ghost stands to 
the Son." 

2. The defence of the Fathers against the Pneumato- objection, 
machi is founded upon the above principles. 

(a.} The first objection, urged principally by Eunomius, Difference 
was that the order of origin in the Trinity involved a fnTOi've" no 
descending order in the excellence and nature of the Three eiceifence. 
Persons, and an essential difference between the substances. 
To this the Fathers had but one answer: that the Holy 

300 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 11. 

CHAP. in. Ghost was no more inferior to the Son for proceeding from 
3Ecr_9 . jjrj m ^ t j lan t j le g on wag m f er j or to t he Father for being 

generated by Him ; and that the difference of origin 
implied no other difference whatsoever, except the differ- 
ence of origin itself. St. Basil treats this point expressly 
in the beginning of his third book against Eunomius. See 
Franzelin, th. xxxv. 

The Holy (&) The second objection was that, if the Holy Ghost 

fheg'randlon stood to the Son as the Son to the Father, the Holy Ghost 
t-ather. ought to be the son of the Son, and the grandson of the 
Father. The Fathers do not evade this difficulty by stating 
that the Holy Ghost is only related to the Son inasmuch 
as He possesses the same Substance, and not by any rela- 
tion of origin ; on the contrary, they expressly affirm that 
the Holy Ghost is really from the Father through the Son. 
(St. Basil, C. Eunom., 1. v. : " Why is the Holy Ghost not 
called the Son of the Son ? Not because He is not of God 
through the Son.") They only point out that human rela- 
tions cannot be unreservedly applied to God ; that the 
expression " Son of the Son " leads to absurd consequences, 
e.g. to the supposition that in God, as in man, an indefinite 
series of generations is possible ; that each Person in the 
Trinity must be as unique and individual in His personality 
as the Divine Substance ; that, lastly, generation is not 
the only kind of origin, wherefore also Holy Scripture 
compares the origin of the Holy Ghost to the origin 
of the breath from the mouth. The essential differ- 
ence between Divine and human generation lies in this : 
that man generates as an isolated substance independent 
of his own progenitor, whereas the Son of God can only 
work in unity with His Father, and so communicate the 
Divine Substance common to Father and Son. (St. Athan., 
Ad. Serap., i. 16.) Hence the expression, "through the 
Son," when applied to the origin of the Holy Ghost, does 
not mean quite the same as when applied to human 

The Holy (<;.) The third objection ran thus: If the Holy Ghost 

the brother proceeds from the Father as really and truly as from the 

Sod Son, He ought to be the son of the Father and the brother 

of the Son. To this the Fathers answered that the Holv 

PABT II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 301 

Ghost does not proceed from the Father in the same way as CHAP. in. 
the Son does ; and that He does not proceed from the E fU >8- 
Father alone and in every respect directly, but through 
the Son ; the Holy Ghost being not only the Spirit of the 
Father, but also the Spirit of the Son. (Cf. St. Basil, 
Ep- 38.) 

VI. From the line of argument followed by the Fathers Summary, 
who lived at the time of the Second Council (A.D. 381), it 
is evident that the words of the Symbol, " Who proceedeth 
from the Father," are not intended to mean from the 
Father alone, but through the Son from the Father and 
from the Father through the Son ; which formula is, with 
the older Greeks, the standing and self-evident commentary 
on the words of the Symbolum. The interpretation, " from 
the Father alone? is a falsification as bad as and akin to 
the Protestant interpretation of the words, " Man is justified 
by faith without the works of the law," leaving unheeded 
the other words, " Charity which worketh through faith." 
Nay, by suppressing " through the Son," the formula " pro- 
ceedeth from the Father" would be deprived of its natural 
sense as it presented itself to the mind of the Fathers. 
For, in that case, the Father, as Father, would have no 
relation to the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost ought 
either to be a son of the Father, or the Father ought to 
have another personal character besides that of Fathership. 
(Franzelin, th. xxxvi.) 

B. The Eastern manner of conceiving and expressing the 
Procession of the Holy Ghost compared with the Western. 
II. It is well known that the Eastern Fathers differ The two 


from the Western in their way of expressing the Pro- 
cession of the Holy Ghost. The former commonly 
use the formula, IK rou irarpbg Sm TOU ut'ou, "from the 
Father through the Son ; " the latter, ex Patre Filioque, 
"from the Father and the Son." No real difference of 
meaning, however, underlies these different expressions, 
as is sufficiently proved by the fact that Greek Fathers, 
who had most occasion to express the dogma in short 
formulas, especially St. Epiphanius and St. Cyril of Alex- 
andria, use the Latin formula times out of number; and 

302 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

origin and 

meaning of 

the Greek 


Greek con- 

Latin doctors, like Tertullian and St. Hilary, frequently 
use the Greek expression. Besides, the Western Church 
never objected to the formula used in the East, but attri- 
buted a correct sense to it, although it might lead Latin 
scholars to a misunderstanding far from the mind of the 

VIII. As a matter of fact, the Greek formula has a 
sound sense and a natural origin, and has even a certain 
advantage over the Latin formula. It owes its origin 
to the fact that Holy Scripture, whenever it mentions the 
Divine operations, represents the Father as the principle 
out of which (ex quo, e ou) all things come, and the Son 
as the principle through or by means of which {per quod, 
t' ov) all things are made, or as the way by which all 
things come from and return to the Father. Moreover, 
the course which the controversy with the Pneumatomachi 
took, rendered the frequent use of this exposition natural. 
The sound meaning of the formula is that it represents the 
Father and the Son, not as two principles acting separately, 
but as two principles operating one in the other, or as one 
principle ; and that it sets forth the particular position of 
the Father and the Son as principles of the Holy Ghost, 
viz. that the Son produces the Holy Ghost only as " prin- 
ciple from a principle " (principitim de principle), whereas 
:he Father is " principle without a principle " {principium 
sine principle!) and "principle of a principle" {principium 
principii) of the Holy Ghost. From this appears the rela- 
tive advantage of the Greek formula. It clearly unfolds 
the meaning which lies hidden in the "ex Patre et Filio," 
and which has to be expounded by the addition of " tanquam 
ab uno principio," and "licet pariter ab utroque, a Patre 
principaliter " or "originaliter." Its sole disadvantage is 
that it does not point out as clearly as the Latin formula 
the parity of the participation of Father and Son in the 
Spiration of the Holy Ghost. 

IX. The special stress which the Greek Fathers laid 
on the formula &' vlov has a deeper reason in their manner 
of conceiving the dogma of the Trinity, a conception 
which might be described as organic. To the Greek Fathers 
the two productions in God, Generation and Spiration, 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 303 

appear as a motion proceeding in a straight line, the Spira- CHAP. HI. 
tion originating in the Generation, and being intimately "f^l 98 ' 
and essentially connected with it, so that not only does 
the Spiration essentially presuppose the Generation, but the 
Generation virtually contains the Spiration, tends towards it, 
and has its complement in it. They consider the productions 
in the Trinity as a motion of the Divinity, by which the 
Divinity passes first from the Father to the Son and then 
to the Holy Ghost, and so passes, as it weie, through the 
Son. In harmony with this view, they chose their illustra- 
tions of the mystery from analogies in organic nature, in 
which one production leads to another, e.g. root, stem, and 
flower. The deeper reason for this conception is, however, 
to be found in this, that the Greek Fathers considered the 
production of the Son as a manifestation of the wisdom of 
the Father, and the production of the Holy Ghost as a 
manifestation of the sanctity of God which is founded upon 
His wisdom. In other words : they considered the Holy 
Ghost (according to John xv.) as the Spirit of Truth Who 
proceedeth from the Father. 

From this point of view, the production of the Holy 
Ghost, in as far as it was attributed to the Father, appeared 
as carried on by means of the generation of the Son, but 
going beyond this generation. Hence it was termed, as 
distinguished from the generation, Trpo/BoA?? or eWe/ui^e (a 
sending forth). All the terms used exclusively to characterize 
either the generation of the Son or the spiration of the 
Holy Ghost, are explained and accounted for by the above 
remarks on the organic conception of the productions in 
the Trinity. It was the more necessary for the Greek 
Fathers to hold fast to a terminology based upon their 
" organic " conception, because any deviation from it 
(coupled with their formula that " the Holy Ghost stands 
to the Son as the Son stands to Father," viz. as Word and 
Image) would easily have led to a misconception of the 
organic coherence of both productions, and would have 
made the Holy Ghost the grandson of the Father. For 
if, conjointly with the expression &a (through), they had 
used the expression tic (from the Son), this might have 
conveyed the meaning that the Holy Ghost is of the Son 

304 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. in. exactly as the Son is of the Father, viz. by generation, 
Ecr^ 9 8. anc j conse q uent i v tnat fj e i s not directly, but only indi- 
rectly, produced by the Father. The " from " seemed 
to separate the Son from the Father in the production of 
the Holy Ghost, and was looked upon as inconvenient 
because it does not represent the Holy Ghost as the Spirit 
which is equally the Spirit of the Father and the Son. For 
the same reason it was deemed incorrect to call the Son 
the principle (air/a), pure and simple, of the Holy Ghost, 
because this seemed to imply that the Son, in the produc- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, acted as a principle separate from 
the Father, as a human son does. Therefore the Son 
was usually represented as only an intermediate principle, 
through which the Holy Ghost received His personality, 
whereas the Father was designated as the only principle pure 
and simple, from which the Holy Ghost proceeded as well 
as the Son. This mode of expression, however, meant only 
that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son inasmuch as 
the Son Himself, in virtue of His Sonship, is and remains 
in the Father, which the Latin Fathers express when they 
say, " Son and Father are but one principle of the Holy 

K at t'ronof ^- The Latin conception, as developed after St. 

the Trinity. Ambrose and St. Jerome, may be termed the "personal" 
conception of the productions in the Trinity. It does not, 
like the Greek, consider the production of the Holy Ghost 
as a continuation of the production of the Son, but as 
an act in which the Person produced by generation, 
by reason of His unity and equality with His principle, 
brings into play His personal union with His principle: 
both, acting side by side as equals, communicate what is 
common to Them to the Holy Ghost. Here the Holy 
Ghost is the bond and the pledge of mutual love between 
Father and Son, or between the original model and its 
copy. From this point of view, nothing was more natural 
than to say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Father 
and Son, and to find fault with a formula which made 
no mention of the Son. It would seem equally strange 
to see the Greeks put the Holy Ghost in immediate 
relation with the Son alone as " image of the Son ; " but 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 305 

nobody would think of finding in the expression, " ex CHAP. in. 
Patre et Filio," a separation of the Two Persons in the E 9 ' 
act of producing the Third. The only objection of the 
Latin Church to the formula, " through the Son," was that 
it might lead to the notion of the Son as the mother of the 
Holy Ghost (cf. St. Augustine, In Joan., tract. 99). The 
Latin Fathers, therefore, avoided the formula " through 
the Son," lest the Holy Ghost should appear to be the 
Son of the Father and of the Son ; whereas the Greeks 
avoided the formula, " from the Son," lest He should be 
thought the grandson of the Father. 

For the history of the introduction of the word Filioque 
into the Symbol, see Hergenrother, Photius, i., p. 692 sqq. ; 
Franzelin, thes. xli. 

XL From what has been said, it is evident that there ^f^; 
was no contradiction between the older Eastern and the tweenGreefcs 

ana .Latins. 

Western Church as regards the Procession of the Holy 
Ghost. The former taught the Catholic doctrine as decidedly 
as the latter. The difference of expression was, indeed, 
likely to lead to misunderstandings ; but, like the former 
misunderstandings concerning the terms " hypostasis " and 
" persona," they could easily have been brought to a satis- 
factory issue, had it not been for the schismatic jealousy 
of the Greeks, who by degrees advanced from a mutila- 
tion of the Latin formula to the negation of the Eastern 

C. The Heresy of the Schism. 

XII. A formal and absolute denial of the Procession of r te !n ,? f 

the ochistA, 

the Holy Ghost from God the Son is to be found nowhere 
among the older orthodox Fathers of the Greek Church. 
If Photius had any forerunners, they certainly were Greek 
heretics, Nestorians and Monothelites, who dragged this 
point into the controversy in order to cast suspicion on 
their opponents. As to the Nestorians (especially Nestorius 
himself, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and even Theodoret), it 
is most probable that they rejected the " through the Son " 
in the same sense as the Fathers had rejected it in the 
Macedonian controversy, viz. created or generated through 
the Son. In fact, the Nestorians accused St. Cyril of hold- 
ing the views of the Macedonians. The Monothelites, on 


306 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP, in- the contrary, attempted by their criticisms of the Latin 
K fl_ 98 ' formula, to show that the Western Church favoured Mace- 
donianism perhaps they also misinterpreted the Greek 
formula but St. Maximus refuted them. Certain monks 
of Jerusalem, jealous of the Franks, were the first to openly 
deny the ancient doctrine (A.D. 808). Photius, by the 
proclamation of his schism, disregarding the tradition of 
the Greek not less than of the Latin Church, made the 
negation of the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the 
Son his fundamental dogma. On the Nestorians and 
Theodoret, see Card. Newman, Historical Sketches, vol. ii. ; 
Kuhn, 32 ; and Franzelin, th. xxxviii. On the audacious 
sophisms of Photius, see Hergenrother, Photius, iii., p. 
400 sqq. 

Theological XIII. As the Photian schism has been the greatest 

the r pho e tian and most enduring of all the schisms that have rent the 

Sin the Church, we are not surprised to find that the heresy which it 

God> invented should carry schism and division even into God 

Himself. All schisms, in the pretended interest of the 

monarchy of Christ, have rejected His visible representative 

on earth, and have thus destroyed the economy (oiKovo/um) 

of the Church. The Photian heresy, in the pretended 

interest of the monarchy of God the Father, rejects the 

character of the Son as principle ; but in so doing it tears, 

rends, and destroys the living unity (economy) which, 

according to the Greek and Latin Fathers, exists in the 


The divisions and rents which the heresy of the 
schism introduces into the Trinity are the following : (a) 
It destroys the immediate and direct union of the Holy 
Ghost with the Son, for this union can only consist in the 
relation of origin ; at the same time it deprives the Holy 
Ghost of His attribute of "own Spirit of the Son." () It 
destroys the perfect unity of Father and Son, in virtue ot 
which the Son possesses everything in common with the 
Father, except Paternity, (c) It tears asunder the indi- 
visible unity of the Father, by dividing the character of 
Paternity from the character of Spirator, or TrpojSoAiue, and 
so giving Him a double Personality, (d] It annihilates 
the fixed order and succession, in virtue of which the Three 

PABT II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 307 

Persons form one continuous golden chain, (e) It destroys CHAP. in. 
the organic coherence of the two productions in the Trinity fc ^I_ 9 ' 
so much insisted upon by the Greek Fathers themselves. 
(/) Above all, it destroys the perfect concatenation of the 
Divine Persons, in virtue of which each of Them stands in 
the closest relation to the other two and forms a connect- 
ing link between them (cf. St. Basil, Ep., 38, n. 4). Thus 
the Greek Fathers point out the intermediate position ol 
the Son between the Father and the Holy Ghost : the Son 
goes forth from the Father, and sends forth from Himself 
the Holy Ghost, so that, through the Son, the Father is in 
relation with the Holy Ghost and vice versd. The Latin 
Fathers, on the other hand, describe the Holy Ghost as 
the exhalation of the mutual love of Father and Son, which 
binds Them together like a band, " vinculum," " osculum 
amplexus." (g) Lastly, the heresy of the schism curtails 
and mutilates the Trinity in its very Essence. For the 
Father is Father only inasmuch as He gives the Son what- 
ever He Himself possesses and can give by generation, 
including His entire fecundity, with the exception of the 
special character of Paternity. The Son is perfect Son 
only if He is equal and like to the Father in the Spiration 
of the Holy Ghost, and if, in particular, the Spirit of the 
Father is communicated to Him by the very act of genera- 
tion and not by a new act of the Father. The Holy Ghost, 
too, is only conceivable as perfect Spirit and as a distinct 
Person if the Son is His principle. For it is an axiom 
accepted by the Fathers, that all personal differences in 
God, being founded upon the relations of origin, exist only 
between the principle and its product. No distinction is 
conceivable in God which does not include the most intimate 
union of those that are distinct. And as, according to the 
Greek Fathers, the Father produces the Holy Ghost only 
through the Son and not side by side with the Son, the 
Holy Ghost would remain in the Son and be identical 
with Him if He did not proceed from the Son. 

308 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 


SECT.JJ9. SECT. 99. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Divine 
Hypostases and Persons Definition of Hypostasis and 
Person as applied to God. 

History of I. Tradition, like Holy Scripture itself, had at first no 
Hyposusis, common name for the three Subjects which are distinguished 
in the Deity. Even the dogmatic definitions of the third 
and fourth centuries repeat the names of Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost ; and when the collective noun r/otac (the Three) 
is used, no name is added to designate the Three generally. 
In the course of time, however, when heresy had made it 
necessary to assert the unity of God as a unity of essence 
(oiKr/a, used almost exclusively by the Greek Fathers) and 
of nature (nattira, the favourite term of Latin writers), or, 
in a word, as a unity of substance, it also became necessary 
to determine for the three Subjects (Whose unity of essence 
was asserted) a name which should express in a convenient 
manner Their relation to the Substance, viz. that They are 
distinct bearers and holders of one Essence and Nature. 

Even in the third century, Origen used for this purpose 
the term vTroorao-te, and Tertullian, Persona. This usage, 
however, became general only with the Fathers of the 
fourth century, and by slow degrees. St. Gregory of Nazi- 
anzum often uses circumlocutions, e.g. " They in whom is 
the divinity, etc." Many controversies preceded the universal 
acceptance of the two terms ; their full etymological sense 
and the relation they bear to each other were only fully 
understood after they had come into general use. Harmony 
of expression and thought was obtained by translating the 
Greek vircxrratng by subsistentia (used by the Fathers in the 
concrete sense of subsistent, by the Schoolmen in the abstract 
sense of subsistence) and by suppositum. Both forms are 
found in St. Ambrose ; but the second only became general 
in the schools of the Middle Ages. On the controversy 
concerning the terms Hypostasis and Substantia, see Petav. 
1. iv., c. 4 ; Kuhn, 29 ; Card. Newman, Arians, p. 432. 
General sig- II. 'Y7roaTucnc. when used concretely, designates in 
the terms, general something existing in and for itself, and conse- 
tasis P "Sup- quently having and supporting in itself other things, of 
" per'soA." which it is the substratum or suppositum. Hence, an 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 309 

hypostasis is a substance and not a mere accident. But CHAP. IIL 

01 i_ i_ SECT. 99. 

not every substance is an hypostasis. Substances which 
are parts of a whole, as, for instance, the arm of the body, 
are not so designated, but only substances which constitute 
a total or a whole in themselves. Nor is the hypostasis 
the substantial essence in as far as this is common to the 
several individuals of the same kind or species (substantia 
secundd), for the substantial essence does not exist in itself, 
but in the individuals of which it is predicated. Hence 
the concept of hypostasis implies an individual substance 
separate and distinct from all other substances of the same 
kind, possessing itself and all the parts, attributes, and 
energies which are in it (substantia prima Integra in se totd}. 
The relations between an hypostasis and its essence and 
nature are that the essence and nature, when and because 
possessed by the hypostasis, are individualized and incom- 
municable ; the hypostasis is always the bearer (subject 
or suppositum) of the nature ; in other words, the hypostasis 
has the nature. If we consider a substance formally as 
possessing itself, it is identical with the hypostasis ; if we 
consider it as possessed, it is, like essence and nature, in the 

Person is defined " an individual rational substance," Pers <> 
that is, the hypostasis of an intellectual nature and 
essence. The note " intellectual " or " rational," restricts 
the concept of hypostasis to one kind of hypostasis, the 
most perfect of all, viz. that of substances wholly or 
partially spiritual. The perfection which distinguishes a 
personal hypostasis from a material one consists not only 
in the perfection of the substance itself but also in the 
manner of possessing it : a person is more than the bearer, 
he is the holder of his substance and is " sui juris " that 
is, in his own right and power. 

Impersonal hypostases have no proper right over their 
parts, no free use of them. They are but " things " without 
a "self." Persons, on the contrary, have, in virtue of their 
spiritual nature, a higher dignity which commands respect, 
and thus gives them a right over what they possess ; they 
are conscious beings and are thus able to enjoy their 
various properties and to dispose of them for their own 

310 A Mamtal of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. in. purposes. Besides, persons have a greater independence or 
'- self-sufficiency than impersonal hypostases. Their spiritual 
substance is imperishable and cannot be absorbed by 
another hypostasis ; although they can be made subordinate 
to other persons, still they never can be treated as mere 
things and means ; lastly, on account of the respect which 
one person owes to another, they are kept more apart than 
other hypostases of the same kind, and are not liable to be 
absorbed by others. 

These terms III. As to the applicability of the terms " Hypostasis " 

amorously and " Person " to God, it is clear that they can only be 

applied analogically : whatever perfection they express is 

eminently present in God ; whatever imperfection they 

imply, must be excluded from Him. 

Their per- i. The perfection of a hypostasis consists in its not 

mustbe forming part of a whole or being an attribute of a substance, 
to'Siml but rather the bearer and holder of a complete substance, 
essence, and nature. A person is an hypostasis endowed with 
dignity and conscious power, possessing his property im- 
mutably, and making it the end and object of his actions ; 
equal to and not absorbable by the other holders of the 
same nature, and entitled to be respected by them in the 
same measure as he is bound to respect himself. All this 
is eminently applicable to the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. 

their imper- 2. The imperfections of created hypostases are (a) that 
excluded, they are not absolutely independent, their principle and 
last end being outside of and above them ; () persons who 
possess the same nature, do not possess numerically one 
nature, but only similar natures ; so that the distinction of 
created persons implies a distinction and separation of their 
substances ; (c~) hence the distinction between created per- 
sons is independent of their origin one from the other, and 
does not of necessity imply a connection based upon mutual 
esteem and love. In opposition to this, the Divine Persons 
are (a) absolutely independent, Their perfection and dignity 
being absolutely the highest ; (b} the unity of substance in 
the Trinity is perfectly undivided, excluding the possibility 
of multiplication, so that the difference of Persons is merely 
a distinction of the Persons themselves and not of Their 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 311 

substance ; (V) the distinction between the Divine Persons CHAP. HI. 
is essentially and exclusively founded upon Their relations SE fIi_ 99 ' 
of origin, and causes Them to be essentially bound together, 
and necessitates the most intimate mutual esteem and 

IV. In consequence of these differences, the concepts The modi- 
of Hypostasis and Person must be modified when applied nece'^y. 
to the Deity. The notion that a person is the bearer and 
holder, distinct from other bearers and holders, of a rational 
nature, is applicable to the uncreated as well as to the 
created person ; but not so the definition of a hypostasis 

as a subsisting and individual substance. 

In a certain sense, it must be said of God that His 
Substance subsists and is individual, even apart from the 
distinctions between the Three Persons. Without suppos- 
ing this, we cannot understand the subsistence and indi- 
viduality of the several Divine Hypostases. Not only does 
the Divine Substance exist essentially, but it also essen- 
tially exists in itself and for itself, so that it can be in no 
manner part of another substance, but only be possessed 
by itself. Further, being unique in its kind and exclud- 
ing multiplication, it also is, by reason of its unicity, 
eminently individual. Hence, if the notion of "sub- 
sistent and individual substance " be used to characterize 
the Divine Hypostases, the subsistence (that is, the in- 
dependence and self-possession) must be conceived, not 
in opposition to the dependence of partial substances, but 
in that peculiar form in which it exists in the individual 
holders of the Divine Substance ; and the individuality 
must not be conceived, as in creatures, only in opposition 
to the notion of a common genus, but in opposition to the 
communicability of a single indivisible object to distinct 
holders. In other words : the notions of subsistence and 
individuality must be so modified as to agree with the form 
or manner in which the one Divine Substance is possessed 
by the three Divine Persons. 

V. Although the Divine Persons are Persons in the The Divine 
highest sense of the term, they are essentially related to "l"bst?ng 
each other ; that is, each of them separately possesses the re 
Divine Nature only inasmuch as He stands to another in 

312 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK u 

CHAP. in. the relation of principle to product or vice versa, and conse- 
' quently each single Person possesses the Divine Nature 
for Himself only in as far as He possesses it at the same 
time for and from the other two Persons. Otherwise 
there would be no distinction of the Persons, nor would 
the Persons have that intimate union among Themselves 
which is required by their absolutely perfect personality. 
Moreover, because the relations of the Persons to each 
other are the one thing which determines the difference 
in the possession of the same Divine Nature, these mutual 
relations in God are not only, as in created persons, a dis- 
tinctive attribute of each Person, but they constitute the 
fundamental character of the personality of each Person. 

From what has been said, the specific notion of the 
Divine Persons may be completely determined as follows. 
The Divine Persons are more than simply related to each 
other ; They are nothing else but " subsisting relations," 
that is, relations identical with the Divine Substance, and 
representing it as subsisting or appertaining to itself in a 
distinct manner. Conversely, it may be said that the 
Persons are the one Divine Substance under a determined 
relation that is, as having, through the relation of origin, 
three particular forms of possessing Itself. This essential 
relativity of the Divine Persons is not indeed expressed 
by the term person, but the thing signified by the term 
is in fact a subsisting relation or the substance under a 
determined relation ; the proper names of the Persons 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (i.e. Spirit of the Father and 
the Son) clearly express their relations. (Cf. St. Thomas, 
/., q. 29, a. 3.) 

SECT. 100. The Distinction of the Divine Persons in 
particular, and their Distinctive Marks. 

Distinction I. According to Tertullian, the differentiation (ceconomid) 
unity. of the Divine Persons presupposes the Monarchy, that is 
the unity and unicity of the Divine Essence and particularly 
the unity and unicity of one Person, in whom the Divine 
Essence is present originally, not as communicated or 
received. The differentiation is brought about by the First 
Person being essentially a producing and communicating 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 313 

Person, producing the other Persons from Himself, and CHAP. in. 

. . T T . <-!-.. SECT. 100. 

communicating His essence to Ihem. 

II. The active production and communication of the TWO Pro- 
First Person is twofold, and consequently the corresponding 
procession (TT/OOO^OC) is also twofold, namely, the generation 
c which has its foundation in the First Person 

alone ; and the procession in a narrower sense (spiratio, 
irvtixriQ or 7r/oo/3oXr) when expressing the action ; pro- 
cessio, EKTro'ptucrte, when considered passively), which has 
its common foundation in the First and Second Persons. 

III. Hence a threefold positive fundamental form of Three form. 
possessing the Divine Nature (rjooVot virdp&oq); viz. (i)com- sio 
municating possession, or possession for self and for others ; 
(2) two forms of receiving possession, or possession for self 
and from others. Of these latter the one is distinguished 
from the other inasmuch as it partakes of the communi- 
cating form. These three fundamental forms are the three 
distinguishing personal characters of the three Persons 
(i<j>tw/uara vTrooraruca, cJiaracteres personates et constituentes}^ 
from which they also take their names the Father from 
the Fathership (irarpoT^g, patemitas), the Son from the 
Sonship (uto'rijc, filiatio}, and the Holy Ghost from the 
Spiration (irvfixng, spiratid], 

The Active Spiration is not a personal, constituent 
character like Paternity and Filiation, because it is not a 
fundamental form of possession, existing side by side with 
Paternity and Filiation, but is only an attribute of these. 
But Active Spiration is an attribute in such a manner that 
it is contained in the complete concept of Paternity and 
Filiation, and unfolds the full signification of these two 
characters. The Father, as principle of the first production 
in the Deity, is also principle of the second production ; 
and the Son, as product of the first production, is also 
principle of the second. The Father generates the Son 
as Spirator (Pater general Filium Spiratorem}, and the Son 
is one with the Father in Spiration as in all other things 
The Father as Father being also Spirator, and the Son 
as Son being likewise Spirator, it follows that the Father 
is principle of all communications, and is a communicating 
principle only ; that the Son is principle of only one com- 

314 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. in. munication, and is at the same time a receiving and com- 

SECT. 100. . ... 

mumcating principle. 

FourReia- IV. As from the twofold production in God results a 
threefold form of possession,so from thesame there result four 
real relations (relationes, a\t<Kig), or two mutual relations. 
Each production gives rise to two relations, viz. of principle 
to product and vice versd : generation is the foundation 
of the relation of Father to Son and of Son to Father ; 
spiration is the foundation of the relation of Father and Son 
to the Holy Ghost, and of the relation of the Holy Ghost to 
Father and Son. And of these real relations there are 
only four, because the spiration proceeds from Father and 
Son as from one principle, so that Father and Son bear to 
the Holy Ghost one indivisible relation. The relations are 
real, not merely logical, because they are founded upon a 
real production, and are the condition of the real being of 
the principle and of the product. Whence they have 
essentially a twofold function : the differentiation of the 
terminus a quo and the terminus ad quern, and the con- 
necting of both terms ; or rather, they only distinguish, 
in as far as at the same time they represent, the Persons dis- 
tinguished as appertaining one to another, and so bind Them 
together, that if one ceased to be, the corresponding one 
would likewise cease. This also applies to the relation of 
Father and Son to the Holy Ghost ; for although They are 
not Father and Son on account of the Spiration, still 
without the Spiration They would not be all that They are 
by essence. 

Fiv-8 V. The special marks or characters which distinguish 

each of the three Persons from the other two, are called 
in theology proprietates, iStw^uara, or iSmjree ; and con- 
sidered as objects of our knowledge, " Distinguishing and 
Personal Notions " (notiones distinguentes and personates^ 
twotai or yvwpiG/LiaTa BiaKpiTiKO, and o-uoraroca) ; in the 
language of the schools they are termed simply notiones 
divince or notiones. 

These notions are five in number, viz. the four relations 
as positive notions, to which is added the " Ingenerateness," 
or " Innascibility " of the Father as a negative notion. This 
last characterizes the peculiar position of the Father more 

PART II.] The Trinity in Tradition. 315 

distinctly as First Principle in the Deity, and thus completes CHAP. m. 
the notion of paternity. The negative notions that might be 
predicated of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (viz. that the 
Son is not Father, and the Holy Ghost is not Spirator) are 
not taken into account, because they do not complete the 
notions of Filiation and Spiration, but result at once from 
these notions. The positive notions may be conceived and 
expressed in a variety of ways, e.g. the Sonship as " being 
spoken as a Word," or as generation in its active or passive 
sense. These differences of expression, however, do not 
alter the number of notions. 

Three of the five notions appertain to the Father 
Ingenerateness, Paternity, and Active Spiration ; two to 
the Son Filiation and Active Spiration ; one to the Holy 
Ghost Passive Spiration. 

VI. Thus there are in God : Summaiy. 

1. One Nature ; 

2. Two Productions ; 

3. Three Persons ; 

4. Four Relations ; and 

5. Five Notions. 

3i 6 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 



SECT. 101. The Origins in God resulting from the Fecundity 
of the Divine Life as Absolute Wisdom. 

CHAP. iv. A PURELY scientific explanation of the Trinity is impos- 
' sible ; the only possible explanation is a theological one, 
starting from at least one revealed principle. That prin- 
ciple is " the inner fecundity of the Divine Life," the deter- 
mination of which is the object of the present portion 
of our treatise. 

Distinction I. That the plurality of Persons is brought about and 
neceSSSy can be brought about only by the production of two of 
upon origins. Them from the First Person, is certain from Revelation, 
and (given the real distinction of the Persons) is also 
evident to reason. The teaching of Revelation is already 
known to us. As regards reason we observe that, as the 
Divine Substance cannot be multiplied, the distinction of 
the Divine Persons necessarily rests upon the distinct pos- 
session of the same Substance ; and a difference in the 
manner of possessing the Divine Nature is necessarily 
founded upon the distinction between giving and receiving. 
The Divine II. It is likewise certain from Revelation, and evident 
are li^g" 5 to reason, that the Divine productions are essentially acts 
of life. For the products are living Persons, generated 
and spirated, and life can only be communicated by a 
living principle. 
The Divine HI. Since the nature of a being is the principle of the 

Nature the . 

prtncipivm acts of its life and of the communication of life, we must 


hold that in God the principle (Jtrincipium quo} of the inner 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 317 

communications of life is His Divine Nature ; that is, CHAP. iv. 
the Divine Nature as formally identical with the acts of EC _H. IOI- 
knowing and willing. 

IV. The communication of life being the essential out- Im >nanent 


come of the absolutely actual and purely spiritual life- f .j e Divi " 

activity of God, its form is necessarily different from any 

form of productivity observable among creatures : it is 

neither a reproduction of the Divine Essence in the Persons 

produced, nor a production of organs destined to enlarge 

and develop the sphere of life. The form of the Divine 

productivity can only be conceived as an immanent radia- 

tion and outpouring of the force and energy of the Divine 

Life, expressing itself in distinct subjects ; so that the 

Divine Life, by reason of this very manifestation of itself 

ad intra, communicates itself to the Divine Persons. Hence 

the foundation of the Divine fecundity or productivity is 

the superabundant fulness of the Divine Life ; and, as God 

is the absolute Spirit, that is Life itself, His fecundity 

is, unlike that of any being outside of Him, infinitely 


From this also appears the deep meaning of the old 
Roman doctrinal formula : " The three Persons are one 
Spirit" (Iv 

V. In order to arrive at a more concrete determination D 'T ine L j f 

as lecund 

of the productivity of the Divine Life, we must consider 
it as the absolute and substantial Wisdom that is, the 
most perfect Knowledge of the highest Truth and the most 
perfect Love of the highest Good. According to this, the 
communication of life in God must be effected by means 
of acts of the Divine Intellect and Will in such a manner 
that the products of the communication manifest, represent, 
and complete the Divine Knowledge and Volition, and 
that the products are but the inner manifestation and 
the adequate expression or outpouring of the substantial 
Wisdom of God. Now, Wisdom contains two, and only 
two, distinct forms of life-activity, viz. Knowledge and 
Volition, and is itself a combination of the Living Truth 
with the Living Holiness. Hence the two productions which 
we know by Faith to exist in God, must be distributed 
between these two forms of life in such a manner that one 

318 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. iv. of them must be the expression and completing terminus 
of the absolutely perfect Knowledge, or the manifestation 
of the Living Truth ; and that the other must be the out- 
pouring and terminus of the absolutely perfect Volition and 
manifestation of the Holy Love or the absolute Holiness of 
God. The productions, however, are not distributed in such 
a way as to be independent of one another, which would 
nappen if the one manifested only the Knowledge of truth 
and the other only Love and Holiness. They are even 
more intimately connected in God than knowing and willing 
in created minds. The expression of Knowledge is essen- 
tially the expression of a Knowledge which breathes holy 
Love ; and the outpouring of Love is essentially of a Love 
full of wisdom. Thus, in both productions, although in a 
different manner, the whole of the Divine Wisdom is mani- 
fested. (Cf. St. Aug., De Trin., 1. xv., n. 8 sqq., Franzelin, 
th. xxvi.) 

Scripture VI." The proposition, " The communication of life in 

and Ira- ' 

dhion on God is based upon a twofold manifestation of the Divine 

this point. A 

Wisdom," is more than a working hypothesis ; it is the 
only admissible one, and claims the character of a fixed 
principle for the declaration and the evolution of the dogma. 
Holy Scripture indicates this clearly enough, and Tra- 
dition has from the very commencement treated it as 
such. It is, therefore, of such a degree of certitude that 
to deny it would be temerarious and erroneous. 
Thefirst j The character of the first production as inner 


s through expression of the Divine Knowledge, is set forth in Holy 

the Intellect. 

Scripture with all possible distinctness. The Second 
Person's proper name is " the Word " (Aoyoe, Verbum\ 
and the name "Wisdom " is appropriated to Him ; to Him 
alone are applied the terms "image" (aca>v), "figure" 
" mirror," " radiance," and " splendour " (airav- 
of God, terms which in themselves imply an ex- 
pression of the Divine Knowledge, and which, taken in 
conjunction with the names Aoyoc and Wisdom, can 
imply no other meaning. In this manner the first pro- 
duction was conceived and declared even in ante-Nicene 
writers, but more especially by the Fathers of the fourth 

PART IT.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 319 

2. The character of the second production as a mani- CHAP, iv 
festation of the Divine Volition, is not so formally set 
forth in Holy Scripture. Still it is sufficiently indicated, production 
negatively and indirectly, by the non-application of therewith 
names of the intellectual production to the Third Person, 
and by the appropriation of the first of these names (Word) 
to the Son ; whence the second production, which must 
be analogous to the first, is necessarily a manifestation of 
the other form of life in God, viz. of the Divine Will. And 
also, positively and directly, in the two elements of the 
name of the Third Person (" Holy," " Ghost "), and in the 
description of the many functions and operations attributed 
to Him, which all characterize Him as the representa- 
tive of Divine Love. In Scripture and in early Tradition 
alike, the character of the production of the Holy Ghost 
is only hinted at ; in the fourth century it received a 
certain amount of development during the controversies 
on the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. The exposition of 
the Greek Fathers is slightly different from that of the 
Latins. The Greeks represent the Holy Ghost as a mani- 
festation of the absolute sanctity of the Divine Will, as the 
Spirit of Holiness, and " Subsisting Holiness." The Latin 
Fathers represent Him as the hypostatic manifestation of 
the Love of the Divine Will existing between Father and 
Son ; He is the " Spirit of Mutual Love and Unity," or 
" Subsisting Union." These two views differ only on the 
surface. The Sanctity, common to Father and Son, from 
which the Holy Ghost proceeds, is the Love of the supreme 
goodness and beauty of the Divine Essence, and as such 
includes Love of the Persons Who possess that Essence. 
On the other hand, the mutual Love of Father and Son is 
Love of their communion in the possession of the supreme 
goodness and beauty ; hence this Love is but Sanctity con- 
ceived in a more concrete manner. The unity of the two 
views is best expressed thus : " The Father loves in the 
Son, as in the resplendent image of His Goodness, the 
Supreme Beauty ; and the Son loves in the Father, as in 
the principle of His Beauty, the Supreme Goodness." 

320 A Mamtal of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 


SECT.J02. SECT. 1 02. The Prodtictions in God are True Productions 
of an Inner Manifestation (i) of the Divine Knoivledge 
through Word and Image ; and (2) of the Divine Love 
through Aspiration, Pledge, and Gift. 

Difficulty of I. The chief difficulty of the doctrine of the Divine 
real produc- Productions consists in clearly determining how a real pro- 
duction in the Divine Intellect and Will is to be conceived. 
The Divine Intellect and the Divine Will essentially 
possess their entire actual perfection, and are identical with 
the acts of knowing and willing. Hence a production by 
the acts of knowing and willing similar to that which takes 
place in the created mind (viz. by a transition from poten- 
tiality to act), is impossible in God. The First Person does 
not acquire His wisdom through the Generated Wisdom, 
but possesses in His own Essence Wisdom in its fullest 
actuality. In the created mind, all productions are the 
result of a faculty passing from potentiality into actuality ; 
this being impossible in God, we cannot conclude from His 
acts of thought and volition that these acts result in the 
production of any reality. This is also the reason why the 
reality of the Divine Productions cannot be known by 
reason alone, but must be learned from Revelation. The 
only conceivable form of a Divine Production is that, in 
virtue of the superabundant fulness of the actuality of the 
Divine Knowledge, a manifestation of it is brought about 
and a fruit produced. This is the element which Revela- 
tion adds to our natural knowledge of the perfection ot 
Divine Life, and which connects the doctrine of the Trinity 
with the doctrine of the Nature of God. 

rh n first II- The character of the first production in God as a 

manifesu" * manifestation and an exercise of the Divine knowledge is 
L>i"ine fittingly pointed out in Holy Scripture by the names ot 
knowledge. Word and i mage " (John i. ; Heb. i.). " The Word " 
designates the product formally as the expression of the 
knowledge; "the Image" designates it as the expression 
or copy of the object of the Divine knowledge that is, 
the Divine Essence. The inner manifestation and expres- 
sion of knowledge is called Word and Image in analogy 
with the external word and image which manifest our 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 321 

knowledge externally. But, whereas in man we apply the CHAP, i? 
names "word " and " image " to the act of knowledge itself ^ZLL *' 
because our mental representation is distinct from its prin- 
ciple and from its object ; in God, Whose actual knowledge 
is identical with its principle and its object, the terms 
" Word " and " Image," in their proper sense, can only be 
applied to the manifestation of the knowledge and to the 
expression which results from the manifestation. The sense 
of both names is contained in the representation of the 
intellectual product as radiation and splendour of the Divine 
Light ; for God is Light, especially inasmuch as He is the 
substantial Truth that is, the " adequation of the highest 
knowable with the highest knowledge," and hence the 
"splendour and radiance" of this Light is necessarily 
the expression of the Divine knowledge as well as of the 
Divine Essence. Moreover, this way of designating the in- 
tellectual production illustrates how the Divine knowledge 
necessarily produces an expression of itself, not from any 
want, but by virtue of its essential fecundity. 

III. Holy Scripture indicates the character of the second The second 
production in God as a manifestation and exercise of His aTactof 011 
Love, by representing its product as an " Aspiration " and 
"Gift" or "Pledge" of Love. Just as thought naturally 
craves to express itself, so love naturally desires to pour 
itself forth ; the external out-pouring of love is manifested 
by an aspiration or sigh coming from the heart, and by the 
gifts which pass from the lover to the beloved as pledges 
of his love. In like manner the internal effusion of love, 
in as far as the effusion can and ought to be distinguished 
from love itself, must be considered as an internal aspira- 
tion, gift, and pledge. Holy Scripture applies the names of 
gift and pledge to the Holy Ghost only in relation to crea- 
tures ; but we have to determine the operation of the Divine 
Love independently of creatures, and must therefore study 
it in its own essence. 

The Divine Love must be viewed in a threefold manner : 

I. First, and above all, as God's complacency with 

Himself as the supreme Goodness and Beauty. The product 

of the Love in this sense does not yet appear as a pledge 

or gift, but rather as an aspiration or as a sigh of love, in 


322 A Manual of Catholic TheoCogy. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. iv. which Love breathes forth its ardour and energy, or as the 
k ^Il- 102 ' seal of love (Cant. viii. 6 : " Put me as a seal upon thy 
heart "). It is in this sense that the Greek Fathers conceive 
the Holy Ghost when, in analogy with the odour of incense 
or of plants, they describe Him as the odour of the sanctity 
of God. 

2. Divine Love may be considered as the mutual love 
of Father and Son for each other, as founded upon their 
common possession of the supreme Goodness and Beauty. 
In this respect the manifestation of Love appears as the 
final act or complement of the living communion of Father 
and Son : the manifestation still bears the character of an 
aspiration, but at the same time it conveys the notion 
of a bond or link, which, as a bond (vincuhtm, nexus] of 
love, is called "Pledge" (pignns, arrJia, inasmuch as in the 
pledge the lover possesses the beloved, or gives himself to 
be possessed by the beloved), and " kiss " (osculuni) and 
M embrace " (awplexus, by St. Aug.). 

3. God loves Himself as the infinitely communicable 
and diffusive Good ; consequently His Self-Love contains a 
readiness to communicate His goodness that is, supreme 
liberality. In this respect the Divine Love acts as giver, 
and the fruit of the Liberality of Divine Love is called 
Gift. This name, however, is not quite adequate, because 
at first sight it signifies only that the inner product of the 
Divine liberality should manifest it ad extra, as a gift to 
others, whereas the self-giving Love of God cannot pour 
out its entire plenitude on its product without making this 
the object and the subject of the communication. In other 
words, the term " Gift " supposes the existence of a receiver, 
whereas the communication of Love in God produces both 
Receiver and Gift. 

In every one of these three ways, the effusion of the 
Divine Love appears as an effusion of Divine delight, hap- 
piness, and suavity ; as a bright burning flame rising from 
the fire of Divine Love ; as the burning breath escaping 
from a loving heart. Hence the manifestation of Love in 
God is as much a breathing of Love and a flame of Love, 
as the manifestation of knowledge is a radiation of know- 

PABT IL] The Evolution of t/ie Trinity. 323 


SECT. 103. The Perfect Immanence of the Divine Produc- SECT. 103. 
tions ; the Substantiality of their Products as Internal 
Expression of the Substantial Truth and Internal Effusion 
of the Substantial Sanctity. 

I. However necessary it may be to distinguish in God NO real ais- 
the expression of knowledge from knowledge itself, and God'helwlen 
the effusion of love from love itself, it is equally necessary andTts g< 
not to separate or divide the expression from the knowledge e 

or the effusion from the love. As we are dealing with pro- 
ductions in God which have their principle and their ter- 
minus in God Himself, expression and knowledge, effusion 
and love are not only intimately connected, but are identical, 
are one and the same tiling. Hence the Divine Knowledge 
is not only in its inner word as the thought of man is in the 
external word (i.e. as in its sign), or as the idea of the artist 
is in his work (i.e. as in its representation) : the Divine 
Knowledge lives and shines forth in its expression exactly 
as it does in itself, being so produced in its expression as to 
completely pass into it. In like manner, the Love of God 
is in its inner effusion not only as a force in its effects or as 
human love in an external pledge, but in such a way that 
it burns and flows in its effusion as it does in itself ; the 
effusion being such as to completely contain the outpoured 

II. The identity just described constitutes the supreme Substanti- 

r i- 111 alityofthe 

perfection, the unique reality and absolute immanence of Divine Pro- 
the Divine Word and Spiration of Love. The inner Word 
of God is more than a Word eminently full of life and 
wealth, and the Divine Spiration of Love is more than a 
Spiration full of life and holy delight : the Divine know- 
ledge being not a reflex of truth but Substantial Truth, its 
expression, identical with itself, is also a Substantial Word, 
the substantial expression of the Absolute Truth, and is this 
Truth itself. And the life of the Divine Will being not a 
tendency to what is good, but Substantial Goodness and 
Holiness, its inner effusion, identical with itself, is also a 
Substantial Spiration and outflow of the Absolute Goodness 
and Holiness, and is this Holiness itself. In God, therefore, 
the Word of knowledge and the Spiration of love are not 

324 -A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. iv. immanent in the same way as they are in the human 
tcr.^103. m j nc j ^ g g as accidents in their subjects), but in such a 

way as to be identical with the substance that produces 
them ; they are not so much in the substance as they 
are the substance itself, and they also have the substance 
in themselves. Hence the only difference conceivable 
between the principle and the terminus of a production in 
God is that they each possess and represent the Absolute 
Truth and the Absolute Goodness in a different manner. 

III. Hence the life and reality of the particular products 
can be further determined as follows : 
Life and i. As essential and substantial Truth, the Life of the 

reality of 

the first pro- Di v i ne Intellect is, on the one hand, identical with the 

duction ... 

Divine Nature as principle of knowledge that is, with 
the Divine Intellect itself; on the other hand, it is identical 
with the formal object of the Divine Intellect, viz. the 
Divine Essence. Consequently the expression of the 
Divine knowledge must re-produce, not only the knowledge, 
but also the knowing intellect, and not only an ideal repre- 
sentation of the Divine Essence, but the Divine Essence 
itself. Hence the expression of the Divine knowledge is 
not a mere word that is, a manifestation of the knowledge 
or some image of it but a real and substantial image of 
nature and essence, containing not only a manifestation of, 
but the Divine Nature and Essence itself. And the internal 
speech of God is a real radiation of His own Nature and 
Essence, just as His external speech gives to created things 
their nature and essence. 

item, ofths 2. As essential and substantial Goodness and Holiness, 
the life of the Divine Will, or Love, is, on the one hand, 
identical with the Divine Nature as principle of the Divine 
Will ; on the other hand, with the goodness and holiness 
of the Divine Essence as the formal object of the Divine 
Will. Consequently the effusion of Divine Love must 
contain, not only the Love, but also the Will of God ; and 
not only an affective union with the Supreme Goodness, 
but the Supreme Goodness itself. Hence the effusion of 
the Divine Love is not only an expression of the affection, 
not only an affective surrender to the object of love and 
liberality, but (a) a spiration, wherein the Divine heart pours 

PART IT.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 325 

out its own Life and its whole Essence ; () a pledge of love, CHAP iv. 

, , i i SECT. 104. 

wherein the loving persons are united, not only symboli- 
cally, but really and in the most intimate manner, because 
their whole life and their whole goodness are really, truly, 
and essentially contained therein ; and (c) a fruit of the 
Divine Liberality, containing, on the one hand, that Liber- 
ality itself that is, the Divine Will and its life, and, on the 
other hand, the whole riches of the real goodness that is, 
of the Essence and power of God ; which therefore is the 
principle and the source of all other Divine gifts, the " Gift 
of all gifts," in the same manner as God is the " Good 
of all goods." 

SECT. 104. The Divine Productions as Communications of 
Essence and Nature ; the Divine Products as Hypostases 
or Persons. 

I. If the internal Divine productions are true prod uc- The Divine 
tions and their products are substantial products, the pro- ar hypos"* 
ductions must be conceived as communications of the [f t . prod " c " 
Divine Nature from one subject to another, consequently 
as productions of other subjects, who are put in full posses- 
sion of the Divine Nature and thus are Divine Hypostases 
and Persons. 

1. The perfect actuality of the Divine Life, which p r0 offrcm 
requires that its product be nothing but a manifestation of oflmemS 
its wealth of life, likewise requires that this manifestation SlSl^i! 1 " " 
should not take place by producing a perfection in a sub- 
ject already existing. The production can only tend to 
communicate the perfection of the producer to another 
subject ; and as it communicates the whole perfection that 

is, the essence and nature of the producer to the produced 
subjects, the latter are necessarily true receivers, and hence 
possessors of the Divine Nature and Essence, or Divine 
Hypostases and Persons. 

2. Where there are productions there is also a produc- Proof 1, 
ing subject (the principle which acts, principium quod), to JSaSSC, 01 
which the nature (the principle by or through which the In eeneril1 
subject acts, principium quo] belongs ; consequently there 

is a hypostasis. On the other hand, in every production 
the product must be really distinct from the producing- 

526 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. iv. principle. But, by reason of the Divine simplicity, there 
tcr-o 4 . no sucn rea j distinction between the producer and 

his products as would entail a composition of several reali- 
ties in the same subject or hypostasis. Consequently the 
internal productions in God must result in such a distinc- 
tion between the producers and the products as will oppose 
the products to the producers as hypostases to distinct 

Proof from 3. The products of the Divine productions are substan- 
theProducts. tial products ; they are the Divine Substance itself. If, 
then, by reason of the productions, a difference must still 
exist between the product and its principle, it can only 
be that the Substance is possessed by each of Them in a 
different manner : in other words, that in each of Them 
the Substance appertains to itself, or subsists, in a different 
manner. Consequently the Divine productions essentially 
tend to multiply the modes of subsistence of the Divine 
Substance, and to make the Divine Substance subsist, not 
only in one, but in three modes. 

Moreover, the three Hypostases in God are also essen- 
tially Persons, and Persons of the most perfect kind, because 
their Substance is the most self-sufficient of all substances, 
their Nature the most spiritual of all natures, their Essence 
the noblest of all essences. 

There must H- Assuming that the internal productions in God are 
jpe/^. tne resu lt of His active cognition and volition, it can be 
strictly demonstrated a priori that there are necessarily 
tJiree Divine Persons. There cannot be less than three 
because the communication and manifestation of the Divine 
Life would be incomplete, if either the intellect or the 
will remained barren. Nor can there be more than three 
because, in this case, either other productions would take 
place besides those admitted by the internal manifestation 
of knowledge and will; or the productions would not be 
perfect and adequate manifestations of knowledge and 
volition ; or, lastly, the acts of knowing and willing would 
be multiplied as well as the products. 

The Trinity of the Divine Persons is, therefore, not 
accidental, but based upon the nature of the Divine fecun- 
dity, which would be manifested incompletely in less than 

PART II.] The Evohition of the Trinity. 327 

three Persons and cannot be manifested in more than CHAP. iv. 
three, because in three it manifests and exhausts its full SECT - I0 *- 

III. Likewise, in the above hypothesis, the Three Persons Order of 
appear essentially in the fixed order of succession deter- oahe* 5 ' 
mined by their origin as revealed in Scripture. For the P< sons " 
production by knowledge supposes, from its nature, but 
one knowing Person as principle, yet, at the same time, 
through the intermediation of the fecundity of the know- 
ledge, tends to give fecundity to the love which proceeds 
from the knowledge. The production by love from its 
very nature, presupposes the existence of two persons, 
because, in God, love can only be fruitful in as far as it 
proceeds from a fruitful knowledge, is essentially mutual 
love between the first Person and His Image, and takes 
the form of a gift of two persons to a third. But the 
order of origin does not imply an order in the Nature, 
Essence, or Substance of the Persons, because in kind and 
in number there is but one Nature. In general, the order 
of origin does not imply that what stands first in the order 
actually exists, or even is possible, before or without what 
stands last ; or that the last is in any way dependent on or 
subordinate to the first. For the producing Persons cannot 
be conceived in their particular being without the relation- 
ship to their Product, nor can the first production be con- 
ceived without the second, which is consequent upon it ; 
and as the producing Persons are related just as necessarily 
to their Products as the Products are to Them, the subordi- 
nation and dependence otherwise existing between Product 
and Principle is here obviated. 

IV. There can be no question of an order of dignity NO order w 
between the Divine Persons, as if the producing Persons dlgmty> 
possessed either a higher dignity than their Product or 
authority over it. For, although the character of principle 
is a true dignity (at'w/za), or rather constitutes the personal 
dignity and personal being of the Persons Who possess it, 
still it is no less a dignity for the produced Persons to be 
the end and object to which the communicative activity of 
the others is directed essentially, or that the whole being 
of the Producers is as essentially for the Products as the 

328 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. iv. whole being of the Products is essentially from the Pro- 
. ( j ucers j n O th cr W ords, in God there is no order founded 
upon degrees of personal dignity, but upon the various 
ways, determined by the relationships of origin, of possess- 
ing the same supreme dignity, viz. the essential possession 
of the Godhead. 

V. The reasons why the first production in God is alone 
tion' Eilione termed " generation " are manifold. Some are taken from 
enetion. the inconveniences that would arise from applying the 
same name to both productions. All the others may be 
reduced to the fact that the first production alone has a 
special likeness to the generation of bodies, considered 
as a natural operation (pperatio per modum naturce\ and 
as a " building up " and " representative " operation. As 
regards the mode of operation, the likeness rests upon 
this, that the first production, being carried out by the 
intellect, is similar to the mode of operation of nature, 
as opposed to operation by free will ; in a more special 
sense, it proceeds from its principle spontaneously and 
essentially, and is effected through the fundamental life- 
force of the Divine Nature. On the part of its tendency 
the first production possesses the specific type of genera- 
tion, in as far as in it the communication of life is effected 
by the expression of an intellectual word and the im- 
pression of a real image, and consequently it has essen- 
tially the tendency to express and represent, in the most 
perfect manner, the essence of its principle. Again, it is 
not only generation really and truly, but generation in the 
purest and highest sense of the word, because it is free 
from all the imperfections of material generation, and, most 
of all, because it perfectly realizes the fundamental idea 
of all generation, viz. the attestation or representation of 
what the progenitor is. It produces, in the most sublime 
sense of the word, a " Speaking Likeness," in which the 
whole Essence of the Progenitor is substantially, vitally, 
and adequately contained and represented. The second 
production is not named "generation," because all the 
elements which stamp the first production as true genera- 
tion are taken precisely from the specific character of this 
first production, and are not found in the second. 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 329 

VI. The first production, being alone a generation, its CHAP, iv 

. . , . SECT. 104. 

product may be illustrated in many ways by a comparison 
with th2 product of plant generation. The eternal Word production 
is at the same time the Germ, the Flower, and the Fruit of ^S plant 
the Divinity : the Germ, because He is the original mani- g 
festation of the Divine power ; the Flower, as manifesting 
the Divine beauty and glory ; and the Fruit, as concentrat- 
ing the whole fecundity and the wealth of Divinity, through 
which all other Divine productions go forth, so that all being, 
form, and perfection in creation are virtually contained in 
it. As that which first springs from the root, viz. the stem, 
produces and supports all the other products, and therefore 
is called in Latin robur, we understand why the Son is so 
often called the " Strength (virtus} of the Father." The 
analogy of the blossom or flower further illustrates why 
Holy Scripture represents the Son as the " Figure " or 
" Face " of the Father, and the analogy of the fruit explains 
why the Son, and the Son alone, is represented as the 
"Food" or "Bread of life" of created spirits. Cf. Ecclus. 
xx iv. 17-24. 

VII. The dogmatic name "Procession" (imiroptvaig) is Processuw 
not considered by the Latin doctors as the specific Spiration. 
name for the second production in God : they use it for 
want of another expressing a more definite character. In 
order to determine its signification they combine it with 
the term "Spiration," in the sense of animal breathing, 
in as far as this indicates partly the mode of operation 
of the second production (processio sive impnlsus amoris, 
viotus ab anima), partly the nature of the act by which it 
is effected, viz. the transitive mutual love of two Persons 
(Patrts in Filiiun, Filii in Patrem}. The Greek Fathers, 
on the other hand, use the term tKTropeuo-tc to designate a 
special form of substantial emanation, analogous to the 
emanation which takes place in plants side by side with 
generation, and is effected by the plants themselves and 
their products, viz. the emission of the vital sap or spirit 
of life in the form of fluid, oily substances in a liquid or 
ethereal state, such as balsam and incense, wine and oil, 
and especially the odour or perfume of the plant which is 
at the same time an ethereal oil and the breath of the plant. 

330 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CFTAP. iv. Hence, to designate the active production of the Holy,. QJ IOS ^ fa e Greek doctors seldom use the name TTV;'HV 
(spirare, to breathe) ; they prefer the expressions irpofldXXtiv, 
tKirtjUTTuv, Trpoxsav, with the corresponding intransitive ex- 
pressions ifci^otrav, ava/3Auftv, Trnydfciv. The two concep- 
tions complete and illustrate each other : they show that 
the procession in God is an emission in the highest sense 
of the word, viz. the emission of an affection and of a 
gift, not, however, of a mere affection and an empty gift, 
but the most perfect and most real outpouring of the sub- 
stantial love of God, which is at once Substantial Goodness, 
Holiness, and Happiness, and the crown and complement 
of the entire Divine Life. 

From its analogy with the emission from plants, the 
name " Procession " (iicTropeua-te), besides its principal mean- 
ing which refers to the form of the procession as a motion 
directed outward, receives a twofold secondary meaning, 
the one relating to the principle, the other to the terminus 
or object of the motion. This secondary meaning shows 
the emission as a transmission, and is also applicable to 
the Holy Ghost. For, as the fluids emitted by a plant 
proceed immediately from the product of generation (the 
stem, flower, and fruit), but originally from the principle 
of generation (the seed or root), and consequently pass 
through the product of generation; so also in God, the 
effusion of His Substantial Holiness essentially flows 
through His Substantial Truth from the principle of the 
latter. This the Greek doctors convey by the terms 
TTjoojSaAAetv, IK-ITS. fjiiruv and tKTroptvtaOai. And just as the 
fluids emitted by plants have a particular facility and 
tendency to spread and diffuse themselves outward, so 
also the Holy Ghost, in His quality of Effusion and Gift 
of the Divine Love, and as the completing act of the 
Divine fecundity within, bears a particular relation to the 
outward diffusion of Divine Love and donation of Divine 
gifts, and especially represents the all-filling and all-pene- 
trating power of the Divine Love (Rom. v. 5). 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 331 


SECT. 105. The Special Names of the Divine Productions as SECT - IOS - 
Communications of Life in analogy with Generation and 
Spiration in the Animal Kingdom The Personal Names 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost The Economy (oiKovo^im) 
of the Divine Persons. 

I. The name "generation," is given to the first produc- Divine 


tion in God, because it is a true communication of intellec- andSonship 
tual life to another subject, or a production of one person 
from another," whence also its Principle is termed " Father " 
and its Product "Son." In mankind, the father, and 
not the mother, is the proper active principle of genera- 
tion ; and the son, not the daughter, is the product of 
generation perfectly like the father. The paternity in the 
Divine generation is not only real but is paternity in the 
highest sense. The Divine Father transfers His life into 
His Son, exclusively by His own power, whereas the human 
father only prepares a communication of life, which, in 
reality, is accomplished through the influence of a higher 
vital principle. Moreover, the Divine Father does not 
require the cooperation of a maternal principle in order to 
perfect His Product : His generation is absolutely virginal. 
In short : God the Father, as such, is the sole and adequate 
principle of the perfect Son. Thus the Eternal Father is, 
in the strictest sense, the " own " Father (Pater proprius} 
of His Son, and the eternal Son, the "own" Son (Films, 
proprius) of the Father. For the same reason the Paternity 
of the Eternal Father is the ideal and type of " all paternity 
in heaven and on earth" (Eph. iii. 15) that is, of any 
paternity of God respecting creatures and of all paternity 
among creatures. And the Sonship of the Eternal Son 
is the ideal and type of all sonship, but particularly of the 
sonship of adoption, which consists in the creature being 
made by grace partaker of the life which belongs to the 
Son by nature. 

II. The second production in God, as far as it is a real The Holy 

,. .... Ghost. 

communication of life to another person, has no analogue 
in human nature. It has, however, an analogue in the 
tendency to communicate one's own life to another person, 
and this is "the emission of the breath from the heart." 

332 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. iv. which, notably in the act of kissing, gives a most real 
"' I05 ' expression to the tendency of love towards intimate 
and real communion of life. More than this is not re- 
quired to show that the corresponding act in God is a real 
communication of life, and that its Product is a real Person. 
What in the creature is a powerless tendency or striving, 
is in God an efficacious operation ; wherefore, as the Spirit 
or Breath of God not only awakens and fosters, but gives 
life when emitted and imparted to creatures, so also the 
internal emission of this Spirit is necessarily a real com- 
munication of life. This becomes still more evident if we 
consider that the emission of the Divine Spirit of life is 
not destined to bring about a union of love between two 
loving hearts existing separately, but flows from one heart, 
common to two Persons, to manifest and enact their abso- 
lute unity of life, and consequently must tend to communi- 
cate life to a Third Person, distinct from the First and 
Second. The emission of the human breath is inferior to 
generation as an analogue for a Divine communication of 
life, because it does not produce a new person ; but, on the 
other hand, it has the double advantage of being more 
apparent and visible, and of standing in closer connection 
with the higher life of the human soul, notably with love. 

By reason of this analogy of origin there can be no 
human personal name designating the Third Person in the 
Trinity as the name " Son " designates the Second. On 
the other hand, however, the name " Spirit," or " Ghost," ia 
the sense of immaterial being, cannot be His proper name, 
because in this sense it is common to the Three Persons. 
The proper name of the Third Person is taken from the 
impersonal emission of breath (TTVEV^O, spiritus] in man, 
and receives its personal signification in God by being con- 
ceived as " Spiritus de Spiritu" the life-breath of the purest 
Spirit. Where the spirating subject is a pure spirit, its 
whole substance and life are necessarily contained in the 
substantial breath (spirit) which it emits ; and thus this 
breath is not only something spiritual, but is a Spiritual 
Hypostasis or Person. The relation of the Spirit of God 
to the spiritual Nature of its Principle and its Essence 
is expressed by the name " Holy Ghost," because the 

PART II.1 The Evohition of the Trinity. 333 

purest spirituality of God culminates in the Substantial CHAP. iv. 
Holiness of the Divine Life. SECT-JOJ. 

The connection of the name " Ghost " or " Spirit " with 
the human breath is generally taught by the Fathers. Its 
relation to the spirituality of the spirating (breathing) 
person is especially pointed out by the Greek doctors, 
although they do not describe the origin as spiration as 
often as the Latin writers ; it corresponds with their 
organic conception of the Holy Ghost as the "Perfume" 
and " Oil " of the Godhead. The Latin Fathers, on the 
other hand, although they more frequently use the term 
spiratio, do not lay much stress on the original meaning 
of spirit, but give great prominence to the idea of the 
osculum (kiss) as a bond of union. They used to say, 
following St. Augustine, that the Third Person is properly 
called "Spirit," because the other Two, whose communion 
He is, are commonly so called. By both Greeks and 
Latins, however, it is always noted that the name Spirit, 
applied to the Third Person, ought, like the name Son, to 
be taken relatively, that is as the Spirit of Somebody. The 
Greeks lay more stress on the genitive of origin (viz. origo 
per emanationem substantialem ex principid], whereas the 
Latin doctors rather point out the genitive of possession, 
considering, as it were, the Holy Ghost as the common 
soul of the two Persons united in love. 

III. Although no human person furnishes an adequate Analogue r^ 

r * the Holy 

analogue for the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity Ghost in ihe 

J ' human 

still we can point to one who approaches as near as the family, 
diversity between Divine and human nature allows. This 
human person is no other than the bride, who / as spouse 
and mother, stands between father and son in the com- 
munication and representation of human nature, and is as 
essentially the third member of the human community, or 
the connecting link between father and son, as the Holy 
Ghost is the Third Person in the Divinity. 

I. The analogy is easily understood if the bride be con- T^* 

J , Bride 

sidered in her ideal, ethical position in the human family, 
as wife and mother. Here she stands out as the repre- 
sentative of the union of father and son ; as the focus in 
which the mutual love of father and son centres ; as love 

334 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 
CHAP, iv personified and as the soul of the family. The differences 

SECT. 103. r i 

arising from the diversity of Divine and human nature are : 
(a) In the Trinity the Personified Love is only a bond not 
a mediator between Father and Son, and, consequently, is 
not the mother of the Son. () The Person of Love cannot 
be considered as the wife of the Father, because this Person 
is not a co-principle with Him, but only proceeds from 
Him. (V) The Person of Love stands in the same relation 
to the Son as to the Father ; hence, as regards origin, the. 
Son comes between the Father and the Substantial Love 
of Both. The intermediate position of the human mother 
between principle and product ; her function of nourishing, 
fostering, cherishing and quickening, and of being the 
centre where the love of father and child meet, find their 
analogue in the relations of the Holy Ghost to the external 
products of Father and Son, viz. to created natures. 

2. Considering the wide differences between the " Person 
of Love" in God and in mankind, human names cannot 
be unreservedly applied to the Holy Ghost. The names 
"mother" or "wife" must be excluded altogether; the 
name "bride" might be applied in the restricted sense 
that the Holy Ghost is the original and bridal partner of 
Father and Son. He is a bridal partner, because in virtue 
of their love He constitutes a substantial unity with them ; 
He is a virginal partner, because He is with Father and 
Son, not as supplying a want of their nature, but as a Gift ; 
He is the bridal partner of Both, because He bears the 
same relationship of origin to the Father and to the Son. 

3. The constituents of the analogy in question are 
foSSn sufficiently expressed by the name " Holy Ghost " (which 
anakTy of ^ n Hebrew is of the feminine gender n-n, ruach, like anima 
bhde. j n Latin), inasmuch as it designates the Third Person of the 

Trinity precisely as the focus of a mutual love that is 
purely spiritual, chaste, and virginal. We may further 
remark that the name Holy Ghost is derived from the 
name Ghost common to the other Two Persons, just 
as the name Eve, with respect to her relationship of 
origin, was derived from that of man (Gen. ii. 23). More- 
over, the proper name which Adam gave to the wife taken 
from his side to signify her maternal character, is not only 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 335 

analogous in construction, but quite synonymous with the CHAP, iv 
name Ghost ; for Eve (mn) signifies life, or, more properly, 
the outflowing life, the breath, i.e. that which, in analogy 
with the breath, quickens and fosters by its warmth. And 
as herein is expressed the ideal essence of the universal 
mothership of the first woman (" And Adam called the name 
of his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the 
living "), so also it expresses the characteristic of the Holy 
Ghost as principle of all the life of creation ; wherefore 
also the Holy Ghost in this respect is called the " Fostering 

This analogy is completed by the origin of the first 
r.'oman, an origin different from generation but similar 
to the origin of the Holy Ghost, and symbolizing the 
origin of the mystic bride of God. For the "taking" of 
Eve from the side of Adam, that is, from his heart, can 
only signify an origin by loving donation on the part of 
Adam, although this donation only gave the matter which, 
by the supernatural intervention of God, was endowed with 
life. Now, according to all the Fathers, the origin of Eve 
was the type of the origin of the Church, the virginal bride 
of Christ, from the side of her Bridegroom, nay, from His 
very Heart, and by virtue of His own vital force through 
the effusion of His life's Blood. But, on the other hand, 
the effusion of the Blood of Christ being the vehicle and 
the symbol of the effusion of the Holy Ghost, and the 
Church, by reason of her moral union with the Holy Ghost, 
being the bride of Christ, we have here an illustration of 
the character of the eternal procession of the Holy Ghost 
Himself, which bears the closest relation to the emission of 
the breath from the heart 

IV. In order to preserve all the force of this human The Dove 
analogy, and, at the same time, to do away with its inherent oflhTHolj 
imperfections and to point out the elements which do not 
appear in it, Revelation itself represents the Holy Ghost, 
with regard to this origin and position, under the symbol 
of an animal being, viz. the Dove. He appeared in the 
form of a dove on the Jordan (Matt. iii. 16), but already in 
the narrative of creation (Gen. i. 2) this form is hinted 
at. The dove, in general, is the symbol of love and fidelity, 

336 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [KOOK u. 

CHAP. iv. especially of chaste, meek, patient, and innocent iove, and 
SECT.J . go ^ illustrates nearly all the attributes of the Spirit of 
Wisdom, described in Wisd. vii., that is, in one word, His 
Holiness. But the Divine Dove represents also the Holy 
Ghost as the Spirit of God that is, as the Spirit proceeding 
from Father and Son and uniting Them. Like a dove, 
the Holy Ghost ascends from the heart of Father and Son, 
whilst in Him they breathe their Love and Life or Soul; 
and, like a dove, with outspread wings and quiescent motion, 
He hovers over them, crowning and completing their union, 
and manifesting by His sigh the infinite felicity and holiness 
of Their love. In short, this image shows the Holy Ghost 
as the hypostatic " Kiss," " Embrace," and " Sigh " of the 
Father and the Son, that is, in His character of Their 
virginal Bride. 

The same image also represents the Holy Ghost in 
His relation of "Virginal Mother" to creatures. As a 
dove He descends from the heart of God upon the creature, 
bringing down with Him the Divine Love and its gifts, 
penetrating creatures with His warming, quickening, and' 
refreshing fire, establishing the most intimate relations 
between God and them, and being Himself the pledge of 
the Love which sends Him and of the love which He 
inspires ; and lastly, in the supernatural order, penetrating 
into the creature as into His temple to such a degree that 
the creature in its turn becomes the virginal bride of God 
and the virginal mother of life in others, and thus receives 
itself the name of dove a name applied especially to the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church, and the virgins of Christ, 
and generally to all pious souls (Cant. ii. 10). 

SECT. 1 06. Complete Unity of the Produced Persons ivitfc 
their Principle, resulting from their Immanent Origin : 
Similarity, Equality, Identity, Inseparability and Coin- 

r.jentityof I. The intellectual origin of the Divine Persons accounts 

Lssence, the 

germ of all no t only for their personal characters but also for their 

other J r 

unities. perfect unity, which is commonly considered under the five 
different forms mentioned in the title of this section, and 
comprehends their Essence, Life and external operations 

PAST II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 337 

their Dignity, Power, and Perfection. The unity of identity CHAP. iv. 
in Essence that is, the absolutely simple unity of the Divine ^J 
Essence itself contains the germ of the other forms, and 
gives to these other forms of unity in God a perfection 
which they have nowhere else. Similarity and equality, 
inseparability and interpenetration, are but so many inade- 
quate conceptions of one and the same essential identity. 
The several forms of unity express certain relations between 
the Divine Persons. But these relations are of a different 
kind from the relations of origin, of which they result. 
Theologians term them relationes rationis, in contradis- 
tinction to the relationes reales, that is, the relation of 

II. In detail the several forms of unity of the Divine 
Persons are originated and formed as follows : 

1. From the fact that in God the produced Persons are similarity 
the innermost manifestation of His Nature and Life, there Dissimi- 
follows, first of all, a similarity entailing more than a mere M 
agreement of qualities, viz. a similarity extending to the 

very Essence ; and, as there are no accidents in the Divine 
Nature, but all perfections are contained in its Essence, 
the similarity is perfect in all and excludes all dissimilarity 
(6//Oorrjc Kara ovcriav cnrapaXXaKTOQ. Cf. Card. Newman, 
A than., ii. 370). 

2. As the produced Persons are, further, an exhaustive Perfect 
manifestation of their Principle, which completely expresses mail, 
and diffuses Itself in Them, we have as a consequence the 
equality (identity of quantity) between the Divine Persons. 
Quantity in God is not a material quantitative greatness, 

but the virtual internal greatness of perfection and power, 
which is infinite (cf. 64). 

3. Similarity in kind, combined with equality of quantity, identity m 

, , . . ... . , oneness of 

or, generally speaking, intrinsic and universal agreement, Substance 
is sufficient, even in creatures, to justify the expression* 
" The one is what the other is," viz. they are something more 
than similar and equal. In this sense the Greeks apply to 
creatures the term TUVTO-TIQ, which, in etymology, though 
not quite in sense, is equivalent to identity. The identity, 
however, of creatures, e.g. of the members of the same 
family, is but partial and very impenect. In God, on the 


338 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ll. 

CHAP, iv contrary, the identity of the Three Persons is absolutely 
E< ill_ 106 ' perfect. For the internal and exhaustive manifestation 
of the Divine Nature is not a multiplication but a commu- 
nication of It to the produced Persons, and is therefore 
present in all and is identical with each of Them ; conse- 
quently, as to what They are, the Persons are not only 
similar, equal, and related, but are purely and simply the 
same. The notion of identity, without destroying the dis- 
tinction of the Persons, completes the notions of similarity 
and equality, at the same time presenting them under a 
form peculiar to God. The Divine Persons are similar and 
equal, not by reason of like qualities and quantities possessed 
by Them, but by reason of the possession in all alike 
essential, perfect, eternal, and legitimate of the quality and 
quantity of one Substance. On the other hand, the iden- 
tity of Essence adds to simple similarity, which may exist 
between separate things, the notion of intimate connection ; 
and to simple equality in quantity, the notion of intrinsic 
penetration. Further, it completes the notion of this con- 
nection and penetration by representing them as effected, 
not by some combination or union, but by the Essence of 
the Three Persons being one and undivided. 

buu para 4' ^ ne i nse P ara ble connection of the Divine Persons 

with one another is brought about in the most perfect 
manner by Their relations of origin. The produced Persons 
cannot even be conceived otherwise than in connection 
with their Principle, and, being the immanent manifestation 
of a substantial cognition and volition, They remain within 
the Divine Substance and are one with It. The producing 
Principle, likewise, cannot be conceived as such, and as a 
distinct Person, except inasmuch as He produces the other 
Persons ; and These, being the immanent Product of His 
Life, are as inseparable from their Principle as His life 

Co-inher- 5. The intimate unity of the Divine Persons appears 

ence, or J rr 

intervene- at its highest perfection when conceived as interpenetration 
and mutual comprehension. The Greek Trept^pricng, and 
the Latin circuminsessio (better circumincessio), are the 
technical terms for the Divine interpenetration. nepixuptiv 
has a fourfold construction: Trtptvw/mv tie aAA>jA> tv aAA?'- 

PART JlJ The Evotiition of the Trinity. 339 

&' aXX'')Awv, and aXXrjXct ; the first three correspond CHAP, iv 
with the meanings "invade," "pervade," of -^wptlv, the EC 

last with its meaning of "hold" or "comprehend." The 
circumincession, or comprehensive interpenetratiou, implies 
the following notions. Each Person penetrates and per- 
vades each other Person inasmuch as each Person is in 
each other Person with His whole Essence, and possesses 
the Essence of each other Person as His own ; and again, 
inasmuch as each Person comprehends each other Person 
in the most intimate and adequate manner by knowledge 
and love, and as each Person finds in each other Person 
His own Essence, it follows that it is one and the same 
act of knowledge and love by which one Divine Person 
comprehends and embraces the other Persons. " Each of 
the Three Who speak to us from heaven is simply, and 
in the full sense of the word, God, yet there is but one 
God ; this truth, as a statement, is enunciated most intel- 
ligibly when we say Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, being 
one and the same Spirit and Being, are in each other, 
which is the doctrine of the Trtpi\wpr)aiQ " (Card. Newman, 
Athan., ii., p. 72 ; cf. Franzelin, th. xiv.). 

By reason of these several forms of unity arising from 
the unity of Essence, the Divine Persons constitute a 
society unique in its kind : a society whose Members are 
in the most perfect manner equal, related, and connected, 
and which, therefore, is the unattainable, eternal, and 
essential ideal of all other societies. 

III. The unity of the Divine Persons, in all its forms, Oneness of 

' external 

embraces as subject-matter Their inner Being and Life, operation. 
and also Their operations ad extra. As regards the power 
necessary to these operations, and the various elements 
concurring in its exercise (viz. idea, decree, execution), 
the activity of each Person is in the most perfect manner 
similar, equal, and identical with that of the other Persons, 
and consequently is exercised so that all the Persons 
operate together, inseparately and inseparably, not only 
in external union, but intrinsically, in each other, so as to 
be but one absolutely simple activity. 

The absolute simplicity of the Divine activity is not 
impaired by the scriptural and traditional expression " that 

340 ^ Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK 11. 

io > ^ 1C -^ V1 " ne P era tion proceeds from the Father through the 
" Son in the Holy Ghost." This expression is intended to 
convey the meaning that the Divine operation or activity 
is perfectly common to the Three Persons, but is possessed 
by each of Them in a particular manner, viz. in the same 
manner in which they possess the prindpium quo of 
action that is, the Divine Nature. Another signification 
of the same formula will be explained in the following 

SECT. 107. The Appropriation of the Common Names, 
A ttributes, and Operations to Particular Persons. 

prfa- I. Although all the names, attributes, and operations 
' ' which do not refer to the personal relations of the Divine 
Persons are, by reason of the unity of Substance, common 
to them all, it is, nevertheless, the constant style of Holy 
Scripture and Tradition to ascribe certain names, attributes, 
and operations to particular Persons so as to serve to dis- 
tinguish one Person from another. The process by which 
something common to all the Persons is attributed as 
peculiar to one of Them, is called Appropriation (icoAArjme). 
Such appropriation, of course, does not exclude the other 
Persons from the possession of what is appropriated to one. 
Whatever is appropriated is not even more the property 
of one Person than of another. The only object of appro- 
priation is to lay special stress on, or to bring out more 
distinctly, the possession of some of the common attributes 
by one Person, so as to illustrate either this particular 
Person or the attributes in question, by showing their con- 
nection. For this purpose it is sufficient that the Person 
in question, by reason of His personal character, bears a 
special relationship to the attribute, and is, therefore, not 
only its owner but also its representative. 

The appropriations are so indispensable that without 
them it would be impossible to give a vivid picture of the 
Trinity. They are useful and indispensable to represent 
each Person as distinguished from the other Persons, since 
we always associate separate persons with separate pro- 
perties and operations ; they are especially useful and 
necessary to bring out the Persons of the Father and the 

PART IL] The Evolution of the Trinity. 341 

Holy Ghost as distinct from the Son Who appeared among CHAP. iv. 
us in a human nature with properties and operations exclu- "^J 07 * 
sively His own ; they further serve to distinguish the 
Divine Persons from other and imperfect beings bearing 
the same names ; this is notably the case in the appella- 
tions " Pater aeternus," " Filius sapiens," " Spiritus sanctus." 
The appropriations also help to illustrate and represent 
the Divine attributes and operations in life-like form, and 
especially to represent the Divine Unity as essentially 
living and working in distinct Persons. 

II. The appropriations in use in Holy Scripture and The appro- 
in the language of the Church, may be grouped under the clarified, 
following categories : 

1. Of the substantive names, "God" is appropriated God, Lord 
to the Father as the " Principle of Divinity ; " " Lord " to 

the Son, as the natural heir of the Father, Who, in the 
Incarnation, has received from the Father a peculiar 
dominion over creatures. Hence the Son is commonly 
called " Son of God," and the Holy Ghost " Spirit of God," 
or " Spirit of the Lord." The Holy Ghost bears no other 
appropriated Divine name, because His proper name 
(Spirit), if not considered as expressing His relationship 
to Father and Son, is in itself a substantive Divine name, 
and, in a certain sense, only becomes a proper name by 
appropriation, viz. inasmuch as, like the air in the wind, 
the Divine Substance reveals in its spiration the full energy 
of its Spiritual Nature. In I Cor. xii. 4, however, "Spirit" 
may be taken as an appropriation on a line with " God " 
and " Lord." 

2. The names designating properties of the Divine Appro- 
Being and Life are distributed among the Three Persons attributes, 
either in the form of adjectives ("one," "true," "good,") or 

of nouns ("unity," "truth," "goodness"), so as to corre- 
spond with their active or passive relations of origin. The 
Second and Third Persons receive only positive predicates, 
because the special nature of Their origin is always taken 
into account, whereas to the Father, as Ingcnerate or Un- 
begotten, negative predicates are likewise appropriated, e.g. 
eternity. To the Father are appropriated, in this respect, 
essential being, then eternity and simplicity, also power 

342 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK IT. 

CHAP. iv. and goodness in the sense of productive and radical fecun- 
7 ' dity, because these attributes shine forth with more splen- 
dour in the Unbegotten Principle of the Trinity. To the 
Son, as the Word and intellectual Image of the Father, is 
appropriated Truth (objective and formal, 73) and re- 
splendent Beauty. To the Holy Ghost, as the Aspira- 
tion, Pledge, and Gift of the eternal Love, is appropriated 
Goodness, as well in its objective sense of what is perfect, 
amiable, and beatifying ( 74), as in the formal sense of 
holiness, bounty, and felicity. As, however, unity may be 
considered under many respects, unity pure and simple is 
ascribed to the Father, unity of equality to the Son, and 
unity of connection to the Holy Ghost. 

Appropria- 3. With regard to the Divine operations ad extra, the 
external appropriations receive various forms and directions. As 
operations, regards the power, wisdom, and goodness manifest in all 
Divine operations, power, as efficient cause, is appropriated 
to the Father ; wisdom, as exemplar cause, to the Son ; 
and goodness, as final cause, to the Holy Ghost. Con- 
sidering, in analogy with created activity, the order or 
evolution of the Divine operations, the decree (= resolu- 
tion, will) to operate is appropriated to the Father ; the 
plan of the work to the Son ; the execution and preserva- 
tion to the Holy Ghost. With regard to the hypostatic 
character of the individual Persons, the Father is said, by 
appropriation, to produce the substantial being (= the sub- 
stance) and the unity of all things by creation, and to 
perform works of power, such as miracles ; the Son is said 
to give all things their form and to enlighten all minds, 
likewise to confer dignities and functions ; the Holy Ghost 
vivifies, moves, and guides all things, sanctifies spirits and 
distributes the charismata. 

Appropri!.- 4. In connection with these, there are other appropria- 
fou n nded tions founded upon the general relation of the creature to 
?5atimof God, and especially on the relations of intellectual creatures 
^.tures to with their Creaton As all things exist o f t h e Father 

through the Son in the Holy Ghost, so intellectual creatures 
are made the children of the Father through the Son to 
Whom they are likened, in the Holy Ghost with Whom 
they are filled. Thus they also can direct their worship to 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 343 

God the Father through the Son in the Holy Ghost, the CHAP. iv. 

SECT. io& 

Son and Holy Ghost being not only the object of worship, 
but, at the same time, mediators of the worship offered to 
the Father from Whom They originate and Whose glory 
They reveal, and with Whom They receive the same worship 
because They are one with Him. The Father especially is 
represented as receiving the Divine worship offered to God 
by the Incarnate Son as High-priest, although the sacrifice 
of Christ is offered to Himself and to the Holy Ghost as 
well as to the Father. Here, however, we go beyond 
simple appropriations, and enter the domain of the mission 
of the Divine Persons, of which we shall speak in the 
following section. 

A beautiful exposition of appropriations is found at the 
end of St. Augustine's De Vera Religione, " Religet ergo 
nos religio, etc." See also St. Thorn., /., q. 39, arts. 7, 8. 

SECT. 1 08. The Temporal Mission of the Divine Persons. 

I. Revelation often speaks in general terms of a coming General 
of God to and into His creatures, and of a manifesting Divine ' 
Himself to, and dwelling in, them. This coming and in- m 
dwelling is especially set forth in connection with the two 
Divine Persons Who have Their eternal origin from another 
Person, and it is represented so as to make this temporal 
procession appear as a continuation of Their eternal pro- 
cession. In consequence of this, the Person from Whom 
another proceeds assumes towards the One Who proceeds 

the same position as exists between a human sender and 
his envoy ; and for this reason the procession ad extra of a 
Divine Person is spoken of as a "Mission." 

II. The external mission of Divine Persons admits of Divine 

r r . . . . . mission free 

none of the imperfections inherent in human missions, ofimper- 
The perfect equality of the Divine Persons excludes the 
notion of authority in the Sender, and, in general, any in- 
fluence of the Sender on the Sent other than the relation of 
origin. Again, the perfect coinherence or interpenetration 
(TTtptxw/oTjo-tc) of the Divine Persons excludes the idea of 
any separation of the Person sent from PI is Sender, and 
of any separate activity or operation in the mission. Lastly, 
the immensity and omnipresence of the Trinity exclude 

344 -d Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 

CHAP. iv. the possibility of any local change caused by the temporal 

s< 1 ' mission of one of the Persons. The procession ad extra 

can be brought about only by a new manifestation of the 

substantial presence of the Person sent, and consequently 

by a new operation taking place in the creature, whereby 

the Divine Person reveals Himself externally or enters 

into union with the creature. 

Animperfect III. To lay too great stress on what we have just said 

notion of a ... ~ J 

Divine might lead to a false notion of the missions of Divine 

mission. ..-. 

Persons. It must not be thought that the whole mission 
consists in a Divine Person coming down to the creature 
merely as representative of an operation appropriated to 
Him but common to the Three Persons, thus infusing not 
Himself but merely His operation into the creature, and 
consequently not proceeding ad extra in the character of a 
Person distinct from His Principle as well as from His 
operations. As a matter of fact, in many texts of Holy 
Scripture the mission of Divine Persons implies no more 
than that They reveal themselves in creatures as bearers of 
an activity appropriated to Them and as Principle of an 
operation in the creature. Such is the case, for instance, 
where, in the spiritual order, every supernatural influence 
of God on the soul is ascribed to a coming of the Son or 
the Holy Ghost. But the theologians of all times agree in 
considering this kind of mission as an improper one, and 
assert the existence of another, to which the name of mission 
properly belongs. 
Kinds and IV. The manifestation ad extra of a Divine Person, in 

forms of .. . - . . 

mission. a mission properly so called, takes place in a twofold 
manner. Either the Divine Person appears in a sensible 
form or image really distinct from Himself, which makes 
the Person Himself and His presence in the creature appa- 
rent, this is called a Visible or External Mission ; or the 
Divine Person really enters into an intellectual creature, 
uniting Himself with it in such intimate, real, and vivid 
manner, that He dwells in it, gives Himself to it, and takes 
special possession of it, this is called an Invisible or 
Internal Mission. 

Both forms are found in their greatest possible perfec- 
tion in the Incarnation of the Son of God. In His Incar- 

II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 345 

nation the Son of God contracts with a created nature, at CHAP. iv. 
the same time intellectual and visible, a union which is ' h( ^ ^ 
proper to Himself alone, exclusively of the other Divine 
Persons, and by reason of which the visible body in which 
He appears is not only a symbol of His Person, but is His 
own body. Besides, the Incarnation was at the same time 
a mission of the Son of God in His own human nature 
and to all men, among whom He dwelt visibly. The Incar- 
nation stands alone as a pre-eminent mission. In other 
missions the visible and invisible are not necessarily con- 
nected, nor do they exist in the same perfection. A visible 
mission, indeed, never takes place without an invisible one, 
but invisible missions are not always accompanied by visible 
manifestations. Besides, excepting the Incarnation, visible 
missions are not real but symbolical ; the invisible ones 
are real : but whilst in the Incarnation we have an hypostatic 
union with the substance of a created nature, here we have 
the hypostatic presence of the Divine Person in the life 
of the creature, which presence includes an intimate relation 
between the Divine and the created person, making them, 
as it were, belong to each other ; wherefore this kind of 
mission is termed " Missio secundum gratiam" or, better, 
" secimdiim gratiam gratum facientem" 

V. The invisible mission of God the Son and God the invisible 
Holy Ghost, especially the latter, to the souls of the just, sou?*. 
being such a consoling mystery, it is of the utmost import- 
ance to gain a clear conception of it ; viz. to understand 
as far as possible, how in this mission a Divine Person 
enters the soul, not figuratively but really, in the proper 
and strict sense of the word. 

In order that the coming of a Divine Person to the 
soul may be really personal, two things are required. It 
is not enough that the Person should come as principle 
of a new operation ; it is necessary that His Substance 
should become present to the soul in a new manner, other- 
wise the mission or coming would be personal only in a 
figurative sense. As, however, the Divine Substance and 
activity are common to all the Persons, the presence of 
the Substance of a Divine Person is not sufficient to enable 
us to say that He is present as a distinct Person, or as 

346 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. iv. distinct from Hi's Sender. If the hypostatic character of 
the Person sent is not brought to the fore, His mission is 
not strictly personal, but must be considered as an appro- 
priation. Moreover, the coming of a Divine Person into 
the soul must be conceived from the point of view of a 
living union of the Person with the soul, or of an intimate 
presence of the Divine Person in the supernatural life of 
the soul, in virtue of which the Divine Person gives Him- 
self to the soul and at the same time takes possession of 
it Holy Scripture constantly speaks of an intimate, holy, 
and beatifying union as the consequence of the coming 
of a Divine Person into the soul ; the Person is given to 
the soul and the soul becomes His temple (cf. Rom. v. 5 ; 
i Cor. iii. 16). Hence, the personal mission of the Divine 
Persons consists in a donation of themselves to the soul 
and in a taking possession of the soul ; their personal pre- 
sence in the soul implies a relation of most intimate and 
mutual appurtenance between the Divine and the human 

HOW to VI. We have, then, to show how, in the communication 

mission by of supernatural life by means of sanctifying grace (gratia 
gratum faciens), a personal presence in the soul, and a 
personal relationship of the Divine Person to the soul, is 
to be conceived. The demonstration may be effected in 
two directions, considering, on the basis of Holy Writ, the 
relation of the Divine Person to the supernatural life 
of the soul: (i) as its exemplar principle, or (2) as its 
final object. Both relations, however, are closely connected, 
and ought to be considered together in order to arrive at 
an adequate conception of the personal presence and 

-P^ i. The supernatural life of the soul consists, in its inmost 

S 1 ^ Per ~ essence, in a participation in the Divine Life that is, in a 

Sauii Ur f knowledge and love of such an exalted kind as is proper 

only to the Divine Nature ; it has, therefore, its root and 

ideal (= exemplar) in God Himself. Hence, God, when 

communicating supernatural life, must approach the soul 

in His Substance in a more special manner, distinct from 

every other Divine influence ; so that, if He were not 

already substantially present as Creator, He would become 

II.] Tke Evolution of the Trinity. 347 

so present as Giver of supernatural life. Moreover, this CHAP. iv. 
communication of God's own life to the soul appears " 
as an imitation> a continuation, and an extension of that 
manifestation arid communication of life which produces 
the Son and the Holy Ghost. The irradiation of super- 
natural knowledge into the soul is essentially an imitation 
and an extension of the internal radiation of Divine know- 
ledge terminating in the Eternal Word and Image, and so 
implies a speaking of His Divine Word into, and impres- 
sion of this Divine Image upon, the soul. The infusion 
or inspiration of supernatural love is an imitation and an 
extension of the internal effusion of Divine Love terminating 
in the Holy Eternal Spirit, and thus implies an effusion 
of the Divine Spirit into the soul. Hence, just as the 
supernatural life results from an internal and permanent 
impression of the Divine Substance on the soul as from 
the impression of a seal, so also the Products of the 
Divine Life impress themselves on the soul in an inner- 
most presence. Consequently, the Persons proceeding ad 
extra, enter into a living relationship with the soul, not 
only as to their Substance, but also as to their personal 
characters. They are personally united to the soul, 
inasmuch as They permeate the life of the soul, manifest 
Their personal glory in it, and live in it. 

This view of the Divine missions is alluded to in the 
following texts : < 

(a) The mission of the Son : " My little children, of 
whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in 
you " (Gal. iv. 19) ; " That Christ may dwell by faith in 
your hearts" (Eph. iii. 17). 

(U] The mission of the Holy Ghost : " The charity of 
God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who 
is given to us " (Rom. v. 5) ; " In this we know that we 
abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of 
His Spirit" (i John iv. 13). To these must be added all 
the texts which represent the Holy Ghost as living in us, 
or us as living in Him, as if He were the breath of our life. 
Thus : " But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if 
so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any 
man have not the Spirit of Christ [= the Spirit of Love], 

348 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II. 

CHAP. iv. he is none of His " (Rom. viii. 9) ; " For whosoever are led 
by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you 
have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear ; but 
you have received the spirit of adoption of sons [= in filial 
love], whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (ibid., 14, 15) ; "We 
have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit 
that is of God " (i Cor. ii. 12). 

o?vine Per- 2- T^ e knowledge and love which constitute supernatural 
a n FinIT ent ^ e (^ke the Divine knowledge and love of which they are 
Sa'nait* a c Py) nave f r their proper object God Himself, as He 
is in Himself. As in the Divine Life, so in the super- 
natural life of the soul, the Divine Essence is the object 
of possession and fruition, and must therefore be sub- 
stantially present to the soul in a manner not required by 
the natural life of the soul. This presence attains its 
perfection only in the Beatific Vision and in beatific 
charity, but it already exists in an obscure and imperfect 
man-ner in our present state of cognition and chanty 
(cognitio et caritas vice}. For if the Divine Substance 
becomes an object of intimate possession and fruition to 
the soul, the Divine Persons Themselves, each with His 
original characters, likewise become the object of the soul's 
possession and fruition by knowledge and love, and They 
enter the soul as such object. The Son is given to the 
soul as the Radiance and Image of the glory of the Father, 
in order that in Him and through Him, the soul may know 
and possess the Father. And the Holy Ghost is given as 
the Effusion and the Pledge of the infinite Love that unites 
Father and Son, and of God's Fatherly love for His crea- 
tures ; as the Blossom of the Divine sweetness and loveli- 
ness, as the personal " osculum Dei," which the soul receives 
as the adopted daughter of the Father and bride of the Son, 
and which is the food and the fuel of the soul's love to God. 
This is the deeper sense of the words, " That the love 
wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in 
them " (John xvii. 26). Consequently, both Persons are 
given to the soul as an uncreated Gift, and the created gift 
of sanctifying grace has precisely this object to enable 
the soul to receive and to enjoy the uncreated Gift. 

As the object of supernatural knowledge and love, the 

I'ABT II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 349 

Divine Persons are also the final object, or the end, of CHAP. iv. 
the soul, in which the soul finds rest and beatitude, but SEC JjJ 09 ' 
which likewise claims from the soul honour and glorifi- 
cation. Now, each Divine Person, in His hypostatical 
character, can claim an honour especially directed to Him- 
self, and a special manner of dominion over creatures ; 
hence, although the Three Persons always enter the soul 
together, and take possession of it and live in it as in Their 
consecrated temple, nevertheless each of Them does so in 
a manner peculiar to Himself. This indwelling is especially 
proper to the Holy Ghost, because He is the representative 
of the Divine sanctity and the model of the sanctity of the 
soul ; and further because, being pre-eminently the personal 
Gift of the Divine Love, He naturally receives and accepts 
the love by which the soul gives itself to God. The Holy 
Ghost being pre-eminently the " Sweet Host " of the soul, 
is also the Holy Lord and Master Who transforms it into 
His temple and takes possession of it in the name of the 
Father and of the Son. (See Scheeben's Mysteries, 30 ; 
and Card. Manning's two works on the Holy Ghost). 

SECT. 109. The Trinity a Mystery but not a Contradiction* 

I. We have shown (in 57) that the real existence of Cause of tin 
the Three Persons in one God cannot be demonstrated by conceiving 

, -r, , . . .. , , . the mystery 

created reason. r rom this it follows that our concep- of the 
tions of the Trinity of Persons can be but analogical and 
imperfect, and even more obscure and imperfect than our 
conceptions of the Divine Essence and Nature. It is, con- 
sequently, a matter of course that our reason should find 
it always difficult, and sometimes impossible, to comprehend 
the possibility of the several Divine attributes and of their 
coexistence in God. However, correct and accurate con- 
ceptions of the analogical notions enable us not only to see 
the necessary connection between several attributes, but 
also to show that no evident contradiction exists between 
them. Most of the contradictions which the Arians, the 
Socinians, and the modern Rationalists pretend to detect 
in the mystery of the Trinity, present hardly any difficulty, 
because they are based either upon misrepresentation or 
misconception of the dogma. 

350 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK II 

CHAP. iv. Our modern Rationalists are far more superficial than 
.-ECT.JOO. t j ie j r p rec i ecessO rs. They think they raise a serious ob- 
jection when they say that one cannot be equal to three ! 
As if the dogma stated that one God is three Gods or one 
Person three Persons ! Most of the difficulties of detail 
may be met by an accurate statement of the dogma, such 
as we have been attempting to give. We only touch here 
upon the chief difficulties which may still remain. 

Difficulties II. These difficulties are in reality but two viz. (i) the 

real distinction of the Persons, notwithstanding their identity 
with one and the same absolutely simple Essence ; and (2) 
their perfect equality in every perfection, notwithstanding 
the origin of one Person from another. The first difficulty 
rests on the axiom : Things identical with the same thing 
are identical with each other ; and the second on the 
principle that origin implies inferiority. 

Solution of i. The first difficulty is solved thus : Although Person 

difficulty, and Essence in God are " One Supreme Thing, altogether 
simple," still, Person and Essence no more represent the 
same side of this " Supreme Thing " than cognition and 
volition. " Person " is the Supreme Thing as possessing 
itself; "Essence" is It as object of possession. Hence it 
is not absolutely inconceivable that a substance as wealthy 
as the Divine should possess Itself in several ways ; and 
if so, It must also be able to manifest Itself in several 
Possessors, Who, as such, are no more identical among 
Themselves than the forms of possession are identical. 
If, further, each Person is identical with the Essence, He 
is only identical as a special form of possession of the 
Essence, and thus, from the axiom, "Things which are 
identical with the same thing are identical with each other," 
it only follows that They all possess the same Essence 
through identity with the same ; and not that They are 
also identical in the form of possession. 

Bunion of 2. The second difficulty is solved thus: An origin in 

Jhe second * 

difficulty. God is the result, not of an accidental, but of an essential 
act that is, of an act identical with its principle as well as 
with the Divine Essence, and essential to both principle 
and Essence ; but this being admitted, it is not at all 
evident that the produced possession ought not to be like- 

PART II.] The Evolution of t fie Trinity. 351 

wise essential, but merely accidental, or merely by connec- CHAP, iv 
tion and not by identity with the Divine Essence. Moreover, ":LJ ia 
the communication of the Nature by the Father does not 
result from a power and wealth founded on His personality, 
but from the power of the common Nature, which essen- 
tially tends to subsist not in one but in three Persons, and 
manifests this power equally in the Three Persons, although 
in a different form in each. 

SECT. 110. The Position and Importance of the Mystery 
of the Trinity in Revelation. 

I. Considered in relation to our natural knowledge of Philosophi- 

cal import- 
God, the dogma of the Trinity has a certain philosophical * nce of the 

J dogma. 

importance, inasmuch as it adds clearness and precision to 
our notions of a living and personal God, perfect and self- 
sufficient, operating ad extra with supreme freedom, power, 
and wisdom. The dogma thus prevents pantheistic and 
superficial deistic theories on God and the world. Still, 
however useful it may be from this point of view, its revela- 
tion cannot be said to be necessary, as such necessity would 
destroy the transcendental (supernatural) character of the 

II. The revelation of the Trinity has its proper and 
essential significance in relation to our supernatural know- 
ledge of God (i) as object of beatific fruition, (2) as object 
of glorification (pbjcctum friiitionis beatificans, objcctnm 
glorifica tion is) . 

I. The beatitude of intellectual creatures consists inTheknow- 
their knowledge of God and in the love of God consequent Trinity in-" 
upon such knowledge. Wherefore, the greater the know- fruition of r 
ledge the greater the beatitude, and vice versa. Hence life. '" 
the revelation of the Trinity has, in general, a substantial 
value inasmuch as it essentially increases our knowledge 
of God. It has also a special value, because, unlike natural 
knowledge, it shows God as He is in Himself, and discloses 
His internal life and activity, thus making the knowledge 
by Faith an anticipation of and introduction to the imme- 
diate vision of the Divine Essence and a pledge of its reality. 
The revelation of the Trinity further leads us into the 

35 2 A Manual of Catholic Theology, [COOK n. 

CHAP. iv. knowledge of an internal manifestation of God's greatness 
SECI.JIO. a ^ power, goodness and love, beatitude and glory, which 
represents God as the highest Good in quite a new light, 
far above anything that external manifestations could teach 
us, and therefore producing, even in this life, a love full ol 
delight, unknown to natural man. In the trinitary origins 
especially, the Divine fecundity and tendency to com- 
munication appear as objectively infinite, whereas the unity 
of the Three Persons reveals the beatitude of God as possess- 
ing in a wonderful manner the element which is the flower 
and condiment even of created happiness that is, the 
delight of sharing one's happiness with others. 
Our know- 2. The knowledge of God, coupled with the admiring 

ledge of the . r 

Trinity in- love which it begets, constitutes also the external glorifica- 

creases e 

God's ex- tion of God by His intellectual creatures : the glorification 

ternal glory. 

increases in perfection with the perfection of the knowledge. 
The influence which the knowledge of the Trinity exercises 
on the perfection of God's glorification by creatures affects 
its very essence. It discloses the internal greatness and 
glory of God as an object of our admiration and adoration ; 
it proposes for our worship not only the Divinity as a 
whole, but each of the Holders and Possessors of the God- 
head, and so enables us to worship the Divine Persons 
separately ; it reveals in God an infinite, real, self-glorifica- 
tion, the Divine Persons as Principle or Product glorifying 
each other in the most sublime manner the Father glorified 
in the Son as His perfect Word and Image, and Both in 
the Holy Ghost as the infinite Effusion of their Love 
infinitely more than in any external manifestation. The 
revelation of the internal Divine self-glorification renders 
it possible to creatures to join in the honours which the 
Divine Persons receive from each other, and thus to com- 
plete their finite worship by referring it to an infinite 
worship. This is done especially in the formula : " Glory 
be to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Ghost." 
The dogma \\\. The revelation of the Trinity is of great importance 
Trinity for the right understanding of the supernatural works of 
on God's God in the world. These works bear such a close and 

supernatural .... . . /- i i 

works. essential relation to the internal productions in God, that 
their essence, reason, and object can be understood only 

PART II.] The Evolution of the Trinity. 353 

when they are considered as an external reproduction, and CHAP. iv. 
a real revelation ad extra, of the internal productions and ' 
relations of God. The supernatural works which here 
come under consideration are the union of God with His 
creatures (i) by Grace, (2) by the Incarnation. 

I. Grace elevates the creature to be the adoptive son of The Trinity 
God. The adopted son, as such, is admitted by grace to 
a participation in the dignity and glory of the natural Son. 
As in human relationships we cannot conceive adoptive 
sonship without referring to natural sonship, so likewise in 
the supernatural order the adoptive sonship of the children 
of God cannot be rightly understood without referring to 
the Sonship of the only-begotten Son of God. Hence the 
natural Sonship in God is the ideal of all adoptive sonship 
on the part of God. It is also the foundation of the possi- 
bility of adoptive filiation ; for only from the fact that in 
God there exists a substantial communication of His Nature, 
and not from His creative power, we gather the possibility 
of a participation in the Divine Nature. The natural filia- 
tion in God must likewise be considered as the proper 
motive and object of the adoptive filiation. It is God's 
love of His only-begotten Son, and the delight He finds 
in His possession, that urge Him to multiply His Son's 
image ad extra. Thus He intends to bring into existence 
His adoptive children in order that they may glorify His 
paternity and His only-begotten Son. In the adoptive 
filiation we must consider also the manner in which it is 
brought about, viz. by gratuitous love. From this point of 
view, adoptive sonship has its ideal, the ground of its possi- 
bility, its motive, and its final object in the procession of the 
Holy Ghost, as a communication by means of the purest 
love and liberality. Further, it bears to the Person of the 
Holy Ghost this essential relation, that the Holy Ghost is 
the Pledge and Seal of the communion of God with His 
adoptive sons, just as in God He is the Pledge and Seal of 
the Love between Father and Son. As the grace of adop- 
tive sonship, considered in its origin, is a reflex of the 
Trinitarian productions and relations, so it has the effect of 
introducing the creature into the most intimate communion 
and fellowship with the Divine Persons : " That our fellow- 

2 A 

354 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK n. 
CHAP. iv. ship may be with the Father and with His Son Jesus 

SECT. no. ,-,, . ii / T i N 

Christ (i John i. 3). 

From this it follows that the triune God is the God 
of the life of grace, and that a full and perfect develop- 
ment of the life of grace is impossible without the know- 
ledge of the Trinity. Hence in the New Testament, where 
the life of grace first appears in its fulness, the relations 
of man to God and man's communication with God are 
always attributed to one or other of the Divine Persons. 
For the same reason, the naming of the Three Persons is as 
essential in the Sacrament of regeneration and adoption 
as the faith and confession of the Trinity are the normal 
condition of its reception. Hence also the Fathers pointed 
out that the faith of Christians in God the Father tran- 
scends reason and opens the way to adoptive sonship. Cf. 
St. Hilary, De Trin., 1. i., c. x. sqq. ; St. Peter Chrysol., 
Senn. 68 (in Orat, Dom.) : " Behold how soon thy profession 
of faith has been rewarded : as soon as thou hast confessed 
God to be the Father of His only Son, thou thyself hast 
been adopted as a son of God the Father." 

The Trinity 2. Whereas in grace we have first an invitation and then, 
^ration."" secondarily, a continuation of the Trinitarian productions 
and relations, the Incarnation is first of all and in the 
strictest sense a continuation ad extra of the eternal origin 
of the Son of God and of His relation to the Father and 
the Holy Ghost. The Incarnation must not be conceived 
merely as God or any one of the Divine Persons taking flesh, 
but as the incorporation of a Person gone forth from God, 
and precisely of that Person Who, as Word and Image of 
God, is the living testimony by which He reveals Himself 
internally and externally ; Who, as Son of God, is the born 
heir of His kingdom ; through Whom God reigns over and 
governs the world ; Who, as the First-born of all creatures, 
is naturally called to be, in His humanity, the head of the 
whole universe ; Who, lastly, through His hypostatic mission 
ad extra, can bring the Holy Ghost, Who proceeds from 
Him, in special connection with His mystical body, and 
thus make the "seal and bond of the Trinity" the seal and 
bond of transfigured creation. 


Division of GOD, One in Substance and Three in Person, infinite!) 
perfect and infinitely happy in Himself of His own good- 
ness and almighty power, not to increase His happiness, 
not to acquire but to manifest His perfection freely made 
out of nothing spiritual and material beings, and man 
composed of both matter and spirit. These creatures He 
endowed with every perfection required by their various 
natures. Angels and men, however, received gifts far sur- 
passing all that their nature could claim. God raised them 
to a supernatural order of existence, making them not 
merely creatures but His adopted children, and destining 
them to a supernatural union with Him. Hence this book 
will be divided into two parts. In the first part, entitled 
Creation, we shall speak of the origin and the natural end 
and endowments of creatures. In the second part we shall 
speak of the Supernatural Order to which angels and men 
were raised; 

( .357 ) 



ALL things outside God have God for their origin and 
end. They may be grouped, as already noticed, under 
three heads : spiritual, material, and composite. We shall 
therefore divide this part into five chapters : The Universe 
created by God (ch. i.) and for God (ch. ii.) ; Angels (ch. iii.), 
the Material World (ch. iv.), and Man (ch. v.). 

-4 Manual jj Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 


CHAP. i. THE Fathers treat of Creation in their writings against the 
pagans and Manichseans. Among the Schoolmen, see St. 
Anselm, MonoL, cc. 5-9 ; Peter Lomb., ii., Dist. i, and the 
commentaries thereon by /Egidius and Estius ; St. Thorn., 
I.,q. 45, and Contra Gentes,\\., I sqq. ; Suarez, Metaph., disp. 
20 ; Kleutgen, Phil., diss. ix., chap. 3. 

SECT. in. The Origin of all things by Creation out 
of nothing. 

AII finite I. Our conception of God as the only Being existing 

beings owe ...... ,, . , . 

their exist- necessarily, implies that all other beings must, in some 

ence to God. . . ..... T . . . . 

way or other, owe their existence to Him. It also implies 
that these other beings owe their whole substance, with all 
its accidents and modifications, mediately or immediately, 
to God. Again, the Divine Substance being simple and 
indivisible, things outside God cannot be produced from 
or made out of it : they can only be called into existence 
out of their nothingness, by the power of God. " God exists 
of Himself" is the fundamental dogma concerning God ; 
the fundamental dogma concerning all things else is that 
"they are produced out of nothing by God." Thus the 
Vatican Council, following the Fourth Lateran Council, 
says, "This one God, of His own goodness and almighty 
power, ... at the very beginning of time made out of 
nothing both kinds of creatures, spiritual and corporal " 
(sess. Hi., c. i). And again, "If any one doth not confess 
that the world and all things contained therein, both 
spiritual and material, have been, as to their whole sub- 
stance, produced out of nothing by God : let him be 

PART I.] The Universe Created by God. 359 

anathema "(can. 5). This definition is merely an explana- CHAP, i 
tion of the first words of the Apostles' Creed, by which, E< ^jJ 11 
from the very earliest ages, the Church confessed the 
Almighty God to be the Maker, 7rotrjr//C) of heaven and 
earth, of all things visible and invisible. The Latin Church 
has always attached to the verb creare the meaning of 
"production out of nothing ; " the Greek Church possessed 
no such specific name, whereas in Hebrew the verb N?3 
already had the fixed signification which the Latin creare 
afterwards acquired. 

When Creation is described as a production from, or 
out of, nothing (de nihilo or ex nihilo, ! OUK ovrwv), the 
" nothing " is not, of course, the matter out of which things 
are made. It means, "out of no matter," or, "not out 
of anything," or, starting from absolute non-being and 
replacing it by being. The formula is also amplified into, 
Productio rei ex nihilo sui et subjecti ; by the Greek Fathers, 
often, iic / urja//oi KOI /ur]oa/xw ovrav. 

II. Holy Scripture, both in the Old and in the New scripture. 
Testament, gives abundant and decisive testimony to the 
dogma of the creation of all things out of nothing. 

1. This dogma is implicitly contained in the scriptural 
descriptions of the Divine Essence, of the Divine Power, 
and of God's absolute dominion over the world. If God in 
His external works were dependent on pre-existing matter, 
He could not be described as Being pure and simple, as 
Almighty pure and simple, as entirely self-sufficient ; God 
would not be "the First and the Last," "the Beginning 
and the End," pure and simple that is, of all things if 
outside of Him anything existed independently of Him. 

2. Over and over again Holy Writ represents God as 
the Principle of all that is, never mentioning any exception. 
He is the Founder (e.g. Ps. Ixxvii. 69, Ixxxviii. 12, cii. 26), 
the Supporter, and Conservator of heaven and earth ; He 
is the Author of the spiritual as well as of the material 
world (Col. i. 16). Pre-existing matter, which, indeed, in 
the case of simple beings like spirits, would be impossible, 
is nowhere spoken of. Many scriptural expressions, e.g. 
Heb. xi. 3, can be understood of the fashioning of unformed 
matter already existing ; yet this operation is described as 

360 A Manual q/ Catholic Theology. [BOOK ill. 

CHAP. i. entering into the very substance, so that it supposes a 
r ' "* dominion over matter which can belong to none but its 

3. Creation is further clearly contained in the narra- 
tive of the first chapter of Genesis. The narrative pur- 
poses to give a full account of the origin of the world ; 
had any matter existed previously to the Divine operation, 
it ought certainly to have been mentioned. Yet the pro- 
duction of heaven and earth is given as the first creative 
action, as the foundation of the subsequent operations, and, 
besides, we are told that the earth "was void and empty." 
This clearly indicates that before the creation of heaven 
and earth no finite thing whatever existed. Again, the 
Hebrew verb &O3, although not necessarily designating a 
production out of nothing, is never used except to express 
an action proper to God alone, notably the operations of 
His sovereignty, absolute independence, and infinity. In 
the narrative of Gen. i. this verb is used to describe the 
first production ; it does not occur again in the account of 
the subsequent operations except at the creation of man, 
ver. 27, because the soul of man is produced out of nothing, 
and in ver. 21, possibly to indicate that the animals are not 
the product of water and air but of the almighty Word of 
God. If we compare the first words of Genesis, " In the 
beginning God created," with the first words of the Gospel 
of St. John, " In the beginning was the Word," and also 
with Prov. viii. 22 sqq., we are forced to conclude that 
time itself began with the creation of heaven and earth, 
and consequently that, before this creative act, nothing 
whatsoever existed outside of God. Hence the sense of 
Gen. i. i, is undoubtedly expressed correctly by the 
mother of the Machabees when speaking to her son : 
" Look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them : 
and consider that God made them out of nothing (t OVK 
ovTfuv, 2 Mach. vii. 28). 

Reason. jjj p o t j ie un p re judiced mind the dogma of creation 

is as plain as the dogma of a self-existing, personal God. 
The two notions are correlative. Things outside of 
God must, from the fact that they do not exist neces- 
sarily, depend for their existence on some other being, 

PABT l.J Ttie Universe Created by God. 361 

which can be no other than the self-existing God. The CHAP. i. 

. c SECT. na. 

notion of creation, or production out of nothing, is free from 
even a shadow of contradiction, whereas every other notion 
concerning the origin of things involves a contradiction. 
It is, we admit, quite a peculiar conception, without any 
analogy in the operations of creatures ; yet our reason 
plainly tells us that creative power is a necessary attribute 
of God. Cf. Book II., 76. 

The axiom, Ex nihilo nihil fit (Out of nothing, nothing 
is made), cannot be urged against the dogma of creation. 
It is true, indeed, that by nature or art nothing can be 
made out of nothing, but it is certainly not proved that 
no being whatever can produce things out of nothing. 
Scientists who reject the true axiom, O.nine vivum ex vivo, 
and hold that matter endows itself with life, ought to be 
the last to raise such an objection. 

IV. Active creation, implying, as it does, infinite power, Godaione 

* ' can create 

is an attribute of God alone. Consequently, all beings 
outside of God are created directly by Him and by Him 
alone, without the intervention of any other creature. 
That no creature, even acting as an instrument of God, 
has ever actually created anything, was defined by the 
Fourth Council of the Lateran : " There is one true God, . . . 
the Creator of all things visible and invisible." It is also 
theologically certain that no creature has the power to 
create, because this power has ever been asserted by the 
Church and by the Fathers to be an exclusive attribute of 
God, in the same way as eternity and omnipresence. The 
question " whether a creature could be used as an instru- 
ment in the act of creation " is answered differently by 
different theologians. The best authorities and the best 
arguments are in favour of the negative. See Bannez, in 
I., q. 45 ; St. Thomas, De Pot., q. 3, a. 4. 

SECT. 112. Simultaneous Beginning of the World and of 

I. Holy Scripture implies throughout, and explicitly Time and 

J 'the universe 

states over and over again, that all things created have a be s a " 

& ' together. 

beginning in time. When the world was first called into 
being time was not yet, because there existed nothing 

362 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK III. 

CHAP. i. capable of undergoing change. Hence time and the world 
ECT.JLI2. k e g an a j. ^e same moment ; or, " the world was created 
in the beginning of time," as it is usually expressed in the 
language of the Church ; " God, at the very beginning of 
time, made both kinds of creatures " (Vat. Council, sess. iii., 
c. i). Thus the formula "production out of nothing" has 
the twofold meaning, " Things not existing of themselves 
receive existence," and " things not yet existing or not 
existing before, begin to be." Holy Scripture points out 
the temporal beginning of the world, especially in order to 
contrast it with the eternity of God, of the Word of God, 
and of the election by grace. E.g. Ps. Ixxxix. 9 ; John 
xvii. 5 ; Eph. i. 4. " In the beginning was the Word " 
(John i. i) ; that is, the Word was before things began 
to be (cf. Prov. viii. 22). In the narrative of Creation, Gen. 
i. i, the words "in the beginning" evidently mean the 
very beginning of time. This meaning is an obvious one j 
it fits in with the context ; it is admissible and is often 
insinuated in other texts, e.g. John i. i. 

II. If the World came into being with time, the external 
Thecreative efficacy of the Divine act which caused it to be, had like- 
etcniai. wise a beginning. From this, however, it does not follow 

that the creative act itself, as it is in God, had a beginning. 
The creative act, considered as existing in God, is nothing 
but the Divine decree to call the world into existence. 
This act is necessarily eternal, because it is part of the 
Divine Life ; but it is also an act of the free Will of God, 
and therefore God is absolutely free to fix a time for its 

III. To defend the Catholic dogma that, as a matter 
of fact, the world had a beginning, it is certainly not 
necessary to demonstrate the impossibility of the opposite 
opinion. It is enough to show that a beginning in time 
is possible, and that the necessity of eternal existence 
cannot be proved. These two propositions are evident ; 
for, if a thing does not exist necessarily, still less does it 
necessarily exist always ; and God, in Whose power it is 
to determine all the conditions under which His works are 
to exist, can evidently determine a time for the beginning 
of their existence. 

l.J The Universe Created by God. 363 

IV. Can our reason conceive a creation from all eternity ? CHAP. i. 
As the Catholic dogma just stated remains intact which- 
ever way this vexed question be answered, we leave it to creation 
the disputations of philosophers. The reader will find it MemJty an 
amply debated in St. Thomas, /., q. 46, art. I, Contra Gentes, question. 
1. ii., c. 31, sqq. ; De Pot., q. Hi., a. 17 ; Capreolus in I Sent., 
d. i. ; Cajetan in I., q. 46, a. 2 ; Estius in 2 Sent., d. i., r i. 
These maintain the possibility of eternal creation. The 
following deny it : Albertus Magnus, Henry of Ghent, and 
most modern theologians. Greg, of Valentia, in I., disp. 
iii., q. 2, proposes an intermediate opinion. 

SECT. 1 13. God the Conservator of all things. 

I. No created beings can continue to exist unless God xatureot 
sustains and preserves them. The Divine Conservation conserva- 
required for the continuance of created existence, is not 
merely negative, but positive : that is to say, it is not 
enough for God not to destroy creatures ; He must exercise 
some active influence on them. Again, this positive con- 
servation is not indirect i.e. a mere protection against 
destructive agencies but a direct Divine influence on the 
very being of the creature, such that, if this influence were 
withdrawn, the creature at once would return into nothing. 
Hence the Divine Conservation affects even the incorrup- 
tible substances of spirits ; it affects matter and form, and 
the connection of both : in short, it is co-extensive with the 
creative act. Conservation, like creation, implies a direct 
action of the Divine Power and the immediate presence 
of God in all things that He conserves. The Catechism 
of the Council of Trent, and the generality of theologians 
explain the dogma by two familiar analogies : things 
depend for their continued existence on the preserving 
influence of God in the same manner as a non-luminous 
body depends for its light on the source of light, and as 
the life of the body depends on the influence of the soul. 

We must not believe that God is the Creator and Maker 
of all things in such a way as to consider that, when the 
work was completed, all things made by Him could con- 
tinue to exist without the action of His infinite power. For, 
just as it is by His supreme power, wisdom, and goodness 

364 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ill. 

CHAP. i. that all things have been brought into being: in like 
E ^_ IIo< manner, unless His continuous providence aided and con- 
served them with that same force whereby they were 
originally produced, they would at once fall back into 
nothing. And this Scripture declares when it says (Wisd. 
xi. 26), " How can anything endure, if Thou wouldst not ? 
or be preserved, if not called by Thee ? " (See also Roman 
Catechism, or Catechism of the Council of Trent, pt. i., chap. 
2, n. 21.) Other passages of Holy Scripture bearing on the 
question are the following. " But if Thou turn away Thy 
face they shall be troubled ; Thou shalt take away their 
breath, and they shall fail, and shall return to their dust" 
(Ps. ciii. 29) ; " Last of all hath spoken to us by His Son, 
... by Whom He made the world, . . . upholding all 
things by the word of His power " (Heb. i. 2, 3) ; " My 
Father worketh until now, and I work" (John v. 17). St. 
Paul refers to the passive relation, the being upheld, in the 
words, " In Him we live, and move, and be " (Acts xvii. 28). 
Necessity II. The necessity of positive Conservation and its 

serva'tion. peculiar character of a preserving activity result . from the 
fact that the existence of creatures can in no way be due 
to the creatures themselves : what is not, cannot give itself 
being. The fact that a creature actually exists, does not 
change its contingent character ; although it exists, it does 
not exist necessarily, but depends on an external cause as 
much for its continuous as for its initial existence. The 
"derivative existence" of creatures stands to the "self- 
existence " of God in the same relation of dependence as 
the rays of light to the source of light, and as the acts of 
the soul to the substance of the soul. From this point of 
view, the preserving influence of God on His creatures at 
once appears as a continuous creation. 

Not to con- III. From the necessity and nature of this Divine 
serve c influence, it follows that God, absolutely speaking, can 
destroy His creatures by simply suspending Hii> creative 
action (cf. Ps. ciii. 29). A creature, on the contrary, cannot 
destroy itself or any other creature as to its whole sub- 
stance : neither by suspending a positive conserving influ- 
ence, which the creature does not possess, at least as 
regards the substance of things ; nor by a positive action 

PART I.] The Universe Created by God. 365 

opposed to and more powerful than the Divine conserving CHAP. i. 
action. Created forces can only change the conditions upon E ^i_ 114 - 
which the preservation of substantial forms depends : when 
these conditions cease, God ceases His conserving influence. 
Cf. St. Thomas, /., q. 104, a. 3, and De Potentia, q. 5, art. 3. 
Although, speaking absolutely, God could annihilate 
His creatures, it is most probable that He never will 
destroy any of the direct and immediate products of His 
creative power. Of spiritual creatures, it can be demon- 
strated that their eternal conservation by God is a moral 
necessity ; as to material things, however, our reason only 
leads us to presume that the Divine Will, which gave them 
existence and conserved them until now, will never change : 
no reason being known why it should. " God made not 
death, neither hath He pleasure in the destruction of the 
living ; for He created all things that they might be ; and 
He made the nations of the earth for health ; and there is 
no poison of destruction in them " (Wisd. i. 13, 14) 

SECT. 1 14. God the Principle of all Created Action. 

The absolute and universal dependence of creatures on 
God implies that they can no more act as causes without 
a positive Divine influence than, without such influence, they 
can begin or continue to exist. God, Who conserves their 
substance, also concurs in their operations, so that all 
positive reality caused by the activity of creatures owes 
its being directly to the action of God co-operating and 
co-producing with the created cause. 

I. Some notion of this Divine co-operation may be T^ School- 

i men on l ^ e 

gathered from an explanation of the technical terms in Divine 


which the Schoolmen describe it. They call it " Con- 
currence " (concursus) to signify a participation in the 
motion (cnrsus) of another being ; " physical " co-operation, 
to distinguish it from moral co-operation, which consists 
in inducing another person to perform an action ; " natural " 
or "general," as opposed to the supernatural and special 
concurrence required to elevate our actions to the super- 
natural order; "immediate" or "direct," because the Con- 
currence in question directly bears upon the energy and 
action of creatures, and not merely upon their substance 

366 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK III. 

CHAP, i and faculties. It is further described as "a Concurrence 
4 " in the operations and effects of the secondary causes," 
because it embraces both the act and the effect of the 
cause, God working at the same time through and with 
the creature. The expression " the action of God in every 
thing that acts " conveys the idea that God intrinsically 
animates the created cause, working with and by it as the 
soul animates the body. The Divine Concurrence must 
not, however, be thought of as a force added to, or operating 
side by side with the creature, but as the animating, Divine 
soul of its own powers and faculties. 

Proofs from I- Upon the whole, the above notion of the Divine 
an r d d s'c'r- Concurrence is admitted by all theologians, however much 
tlire> they may differ as to its further development. The Fathers 

find it in Holy Scripture ; and it is a necessary consequence 
of the relation of dependence of the creature on God. 
" Not only does God watch over and administer every 
thing that exists : the things that are moved and that act 
He also impels by intrinsic power to motion and action 
in such a way that, without hindering the operation of 
secondary causes, He (as it were) goes before it (pr&veniat\ 
since His hidden might belongs to each thing, and, as the 
Wise Man testifies, ' He reacheth from end to end mightily, 
and ordereth all things sweetly.' Wherefore it was said 
by the Apostle, when preaching to the Athenians the God 
Whom they worshipped unwittingly : ' He is not far from 
every one of us, for in Him we live and move and be ' " 
(Catechism of the Council of Trent, pt. i., ch. ii., n. 22). 
Holy Scripture refers to the Divine Concurrence in the texts 
which ascribe to God the operations of creatures, or which 
directly attribute to Him the effects of created activity. 
"There are diversities of operations, but the same God 
Who worketh all in all " (6 t vfpyuv TO. iravra tv iraaiv, I Cor. 
xii. 6); "My Father worketh until now, and I work" 
(John v. 17) ; " It is He Who giveth to all life, and breath, 
and all things. . . . Although He be not far from every one 
of us; for in Him we live and move and be" (Acts xvii. 
25, 28) ; "Of Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things " 
(f avroC KUI ot' aurot cai ttc ctvrbv ra iravra, Rom. xi. 36). 
2. The intrinsic reason for the necessity of the Divine 

PART 1.] TJie Universe Created by God. 367 

co-operation with secondary causes lies, speaking generally, CHAP, i 
in the absolute dependence of all derivative being on the "* 
Essential Being. Nothing in the creature that deserves Reason, 
the name of being can possibly be independent of the 
Creator. But if the effects of created activity were not 
directly and immediately attributable to God, they would, 
to some extent, be independent of Him. This appears 
most clearly in the generation of living things. Here new 
and substantial beings receive an existence, the commence- 
ment and continuation of which are so peculiarly and 
eminently the work of God, that they cannot be conceived 
independently of Him. 

II. The principle which proves the necessity of the Extent of 

. the Divine 

Divine Concurrence, defines also its measure and its extent, concur*. 

I. Everything that exists, all positive and real being, all 
manifestations of a power good in itself, are dependent for 
existence on the direct operation or co-operation of God. 
But whatever is defective, inordinate, or morally wrong in 
other words, whatever is not-being connected with the effects 
produced or with the action of the created cause is not 
attributable to the Divine Concurrence : the defect or defi- 
ciency in either the act or its effect must be ascribed to 
some defect or deficiency in the secondary cause which 
God does not prevent or remove. In the production of 
effects physically or morally defective, God co-operates 
somewhat in the way that the soul co-operates in the im- 
perfect motion of a lame foot. The motion, not the lame- 
ness, is the work of the soul ; in like manner, the positive 
being or reality to which an imperfection attaches, is the 
work of God, but not the imperfection. Thus, sin comes 
from God in as far as it is a positive act and a real being, 
but not in as far as it is a deviation from justice. Cf. St. 
Thomas, De Malo, q. iii., a. 2 ; and the commentators on 
2 Sent. dist. 37. 

2. As to the nature of the Divine Concurrence and the HowfarGod 
manner in which God influences the activity of creatures, fre^tliu 
great controversies exist among Theologians. The burning qSol 
question is how God influences free will. According to 
the followers of Molina, the Divine Concurrence is a mere 
co-operation, or an influence acting side by side with the 

.368 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK m. 

created cause. The school of St. Thomas holds that it is 
a true moving of the creature that is, an impulse given to 
the creature before it acts (impulsus ad agendum}. St. 
Thomas himself resolves the Divine Concurrence into these 
four elements : " God is the cause of all and every action 
(i) inasmuch as He gives the power to act ; (2) inasmuch 
as He conserves this power ; (3) inasmuch as He applies it 
to the action ; and (4) inasmuch as by His power all other 
powers act " (De Pot., q. iii., a. 7). He borrows the notion of 
applying the power to act to the action, from the applica- 
tion of a tool to its work (" as the carpenter applies his 
saw to divide a log "). The application by God of the 
created power to its object differs greatly, however, from 
the application of a tool to its work. The latter action is 
merely external and accomplished by local motion, whereas 
the former is internal and proceeds from God as its life and 
its energizing principle. A better analogy is afforded by 
the impulse which the root gives to the life of the plant. 

The theory of St. Thomas, as originally proposed by 
him, appears at first sight more in harmony with the lan- 
guage of Revelation and of the Church, and expresses 
better the dependence of the Creature on God. The 
mystical depth of the Thomistic theory and the difficulty 
of expounding its innermost nature in set sentences tell in 
its favour rather than against it, for the same difficulty and 
mystery are met with when we pass from a mere machine 
to a living organism. The only serious objection against 
the theory is that it seems to destroy the self-determining 
and self-acting power of creatures. But this objection 
draws all its force from a misconception. The Divine 
motion is not external and mechanical, like the motion of 
a tool ; but organic, like the motion imparted to a living 
plant by the action of its root. Such an organic action, 
far from destroying the self-acting power of the being to 
which it gives an impulse, is really the foundation and 
necessary condition of this power. 

To enter into a detailed discussion of the two conflicting 
systems would be beyond the scope of the present work. 
Further information may be found in the commentaries on 
/., q. 105. 

( 369 ) 


SECT, r 1 5. Essential relation of Creatures to God as the 
Final Object of t/ieir Being, A ctivity, and Tendencies. 

I. WE may here take it for granted that every creature CHAP. n. 
has, in a way, its end in itself. Creatures are either good SECT - "s- 
already or tend to be good ; they possess and enjoy the ^ e a U the end 
good which is in them, and find the fulfilment of their creatures - 
tendencies in the union with the good to which they tend. 

At the same time, however, dogma and reason alike 
show that the highest and final object of creatures as such 
is not in themselves, 'but in the glorification of the Creator. 
" If any one shall say that the world was not created for 
the glory of God, let him be anathema" (Vat. Council, 
sess. iii., c. I, can. 5). The council, indeed, does not expressly 
define that the glory of God is the final object ; but this is 
self-evident. For if the " world " purely and simply 
that is, with all its component parts and elements is made 
for the glory of God, all its particular ends and objects 
must be subordinate to this one great end. Besides, God 
cannot be other than the highest and final object. 

If we consider in detail the essential relation of crea- 
tures to God as their final object, we find, first, that they 
are ordained to represent, by means of their own good- 
ness and beauty, the supreme goodness and beauty of the 
Creator ; secondly, that they exist for the service of God, 
Whose property they are, and on Whom they depend ; 
thirdly, that God is the good to which they ultimately 
tend, and in which they find their rest. In each of these 
three respects the manifestation of the Divine glory 

2 B 

370 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. ii. appears in a particular form : the majesty of God's inner 
perfection and beauty is reflected in the being of creatures ; 
the majesty of His power and dominion is manifested in 
their submission to Him ; and the majesty and glory which 
accrue to Him from His being the good of all that is good 
and the centre of all being, shine forth in the union of 
creatures with Him as the resting-place of all their 

Scripture. This doctrine is abundantly set forth in Holy Scripture. 

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith 
the Lord God" (Apoc. i. 8); "Of Him, and by Him, and 
in (unto) Him, are all things" (Rom. xi. 36) ; " For Whom 
are all things, and by Whom all things " (&' bv TO. iravra iceu 
&' ov TO. Travra, Heb. ii. 10). God's actual destination of 
everything for His own purpose is expressed in Prov. xvi. 
4 : " The Lord hath made all things for Himself." The 
accomplishment and fulfilment of His purpose is that all 
should be most intimately united to Him : " Afterwards 
the end, . . . and when all things shall be subdued unto 
Him, then the Son also Himself shall be subject unto Him 
that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all " 
(ra iravra Iv TTCKTIV, I Cor. xv. 24-28). 

Especially of II. W'hat we have said of the relation of creatures 
creatures, generally to God as their Final Object, applies with greater 
force to rational creatures. These, even more than irra- 
tional creatures, have in themselves a final object ; they 
cannot be used as mere means for the benefit of other 
creatures, but have a dignity of their own, and are, there- 
fore, entitled to everlasting duration. They, as it were, 
belong to themselves, and they use for their own purposes 
what they are and possess ; the beatitude towards which 
they tend is a perfection connatural to them. The salient 
point of their perfection consists in the fact that they can- 
not be subjected purely and simply to any other creature, 
so as to be used for its sole benefit. Their final or highest 
object, however, is in God. Without some relation to Him 
rational life would necessarily be imperfect, and, besides, 
the possession of God constitutes the beatitude of rational 
beings. Their whole being, their life and activity, and 
even their own beatitude, must be referred to the glory of 

PART I.] The Universe created for God. 371 

God. Creatures endowed with reason ought, more than CHAP. n. 
others, to publish, by means of their natural and super- ^tll! 15 ' 
natural likeness to God, the beauty of their Prototype. 
Their whole life should be spent in the service of their 
Master, and all their aspirations ought to tend to union 
with Him. They alone are able to give Him true honour 
and worship, based upon true knowledge and love. 

The supreme felicity of rational creatures consists in 
the possession of God. This does not, however, imply 
that the felicity of the creature is the highest object, and 
that the fruition of God is a means thereto. The beatitude 
to be attained by the rational creature really consists in a 
perfect union with God by means of knowledge and love, 
which union contains at the same time the highest felicity 
of the creature and the most perfect glorification of the 
Creator ; the highest happiness of the blessed is afforded 
precisely by the consciousness that their knowledge and 
love of the internal beauty of God are the means of His 
external glorification. 

This doctrine also is expressed in countless passages of Scripture. 
Holy Scripture. " The Lord hath chosen thee ... to make 
thee higher than all nations which He hath created to His 
own praise, and name, and glory" (Deut. xxvi. 18, 19); 
" Filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto 
the glory and praise of God" (Phil. i. n); "Who hath 
predestinated us unto the adoption of children through 
Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the purpose of His 
will, unto the praise of the glory of His grace " (Eph. i. 
5, 6) ; " Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive 
glory and honour and power, because Thou hast created 
all things, and for Thy will they were and have been 
created" (Apoc. iv. n). 

Nothing shows better that the felicity of creatures is an 
object subordinate to the glory of God, than the fact that 
those who, through their own fault, fail to glorify Him by 
obtaining eternal felicity for themselves, are compelled to 
glorify Him by manifesting His justice. The glory of God 
is, then, the final object of all things, and to this end all irrational 

, , . creatures 

others are subservient. 


III. Besides glorifying God in their imperfect way, 

372 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ni. 

CHAP. ii. material things have also to serve rational creatures in 
"^.II! 1 ' the attainment of their perfection and final felicity. They 
belong not only to the kingdom of God, but also to the 
kingdom of man. " The world is made for man," that 
man may use it for the glory of his Creator. The ex- 
pression "All things in creation are made to reveal or 
manifest the glory of God," must not be understood of 
rational creatures only. Creatures reflect in themselves 
and represent the Divine perfections just as a work of art 
itself represents and reveals the ideal of the artist, whether 
it be taken notice of by men or not. Hence worlds un- 
known to man and angels would still manifest the glory 
of their Maker and attain the final object of all things, 
the glorification of God. " The heavens show forth the 
glory of God, and the firmament dcclareth the work of 
His hands " (Ps. xviii. 2). 

The hierarchy of creation, and of the ends of man in 
particular, is beautifully expressed by Lactantius. " The 
world was made," he says, " that we might be born. We 
were born that we might know God. We know Him that 
we may worship Him. We worship Him that we may 
earn immortality. We are rewarded with immortality 
that, being made like unto the angels, we may serve our 
Father and Lord for ever and be the eternal kingdom of 
God " (Instit. vii. 6). 

SECT. 1 1 6. The Providence of God. 

God watches I. A necessary consequence of the absolute dependence 
rules the of the world on its Maker is that the world must be 
governed by God, and conducted by Him to its final 
destination. He owes it to His wisdom so to govern the 
world as to attain the end which He Himself has ordained 
for it. (Supra, pp. 219 224.) 

The government of the world by God is the function 

of Divine Providence, inasmuch as it consists in conducting 

all things to their end by providing for each and all 

of them the good to which they ultimately tend. 

Reason and II. The existence of an all-governing Providence is a 


fundamental article of Faith. Our reason, our conscience, 
cannot separate the idea of an all-penetrating Providence 

PAET I.] The Universe created for God. 373 

from the idea of God. Holy Writ speaks of Providence CHAP, n 
almost on every page. (Cf., e.g., Ps. cxxxviii. and Matt. SEC Zi^ 16 ' 
vi. 25 sqq.) The Vatican Council has also defined it in 
outline : " God watcheth over and govcrneth by His 
Providence all things that He hath made, reaching from 
end to end mightily and ordering all things sweetly " 
(sess. iii., c. i). 

III. We subjoin some characteristics of the Divine HowDivin. 
Government of the World, in its bearing upon the natural governslhe 

i r . i world. 

order of things. 

1. The government of the world by God is both general God's Pn>- 

.... . . vidence both 

and special ; that is to say, it affects the world as a whole general and 
as well as every creature in particular. It is not carried 
out by intermediate agents: God Himself directly watches 
over, leads, and controls every single thing and its every 
motion. He takes a special care of personal beings whose 
end is supreme felicity and whose duration is everlasting. 
In virtue of His Wisdom and Infinite Power, He not 
only establishes general laws and provides the means for 
obeying them, but also regulates and arranges the particular 
circumstances and conditions under which every creature 
is to act. Thus no creature can be placed in a position 
or subjected to circumstances not foreseen, preordained, or 
at least permitted, by Divine Providence, or not in harmony 
with the general plan of the universe. Hence God's 
government of the world attains its end unerringly, with 
perfect certainty, in general as well as in particular : all 
things and events ultimately procure the glory of God, 
and nothing of what He absolutely intends fails to happen, 
nor does anything happen which He absolutely intends 
to prevent. This, however, does not interfere with the 
free will of rational creatures, because their freedom is 
itself part of the Divine plan and is governed by God 
in harmony with its nature. 

2. Although God, in the government of the world, wills The general 

& & ... . good higher 

and promotes the good of every single creature, still, in than that 
order to attain the great final object of all, He permits and individual. 
even intends individual creatures not to attain their own 
particular object, and thus to suffer for the general good. 
Even the greatest of evils, sin, which is in direct opposition 

374 A Manual of Catholic Tfaology. [BOOK ill. 

CHAP ii. to the glory of God, can be permitted by Him, because jjj e j g a kj e to ma k e j t subservient to His ends and to glorify 

Himself by punishing it. 
Material 3. The action of God's Providence appears most strik- 

nature. J r r 

ingly in the organization and harmonious working of material 
nature. It is not so well seen in the government of personal 
beings, because free will is a disturbing element which 
prevents us from discerning uniform laws of conduct. 
Permission 4. The greatest difficulty arises from the permission of 
evil, for which, in our limited sphere of knowledge, we can 
hardly account. We know, however, that all events are in 
the hand of God and that nothing happens without His 
knowledge and permission. Although, therefore, in particular 
cases we fail to see the reason of God's government, we 
must none the less bow down before His infinite Wisdom, 
Goodness, and Justice. Such humble submission and 
filial confidence are, in rational creatures, the best dis- 
position for receiving the full benefit of God's loving 

SECT. 1 17. The World tJie Realization of tJie Divine Ideal. 

The Divine I. The world is the realization of an artistic ideal, 

wo e rid. ft e because God created it according to a well-conceived plan, 

with the intention, not of deriving profit from it, but of 

producing a work good and beautiful in itself. But the 

Divine ideal is God Himself; its external representation 

is, therefore, the representation and image of the Divine 

Majesty and Beauty. 

Hence aii II. Hence all things bear some likeness to God, and 

like God, possess some degree of goodness and beauty. In as far as 

they come from God, they must be good and beautiful ; 

but as they also come from nothing, their goodness and 

beauty are necessarily imperfect ; they are perfect only as 

far as God has endowed them with being. 

Realizing HI. No single creature can adequately express the 

the ideal in _. . TT . - . 

immense Divine Ideal. Hence the almost infinite variety and 
multiplicity of created forms, each of which reproduces 
and manifests something of the infinite perfection of God. 
Of the fundamental forms of being known to us, viz. the 
spiritual and the material, the former are a real image of 

PART I.] T/ie Universe created for God. 375 

their ideal, whilst the latter only contain obscure vestiges CHAP. n. 
of it. Moreover, spiritual creatures, unlike material ones, EC Zl! 17 ' 
are conscious of their likeness to God. In man the two 
forms of likeness to the Divine ideal are combined and 
concentrated in such a manner that the lower is completed 
and perfected by the higher, and offers it a wide field for 
the display of its activities. The soul of man animating 
the body is an image of the action of God on the world ; 
the fecundity of man, resulting in the construction of a 
new being like unto himself, represents the inner fecundity 
of God. In pure spirits the likeness to God is purer and 
more sublime, but in man it is more complete and com- 

IV. Notwithstanding their immense multiplicity and Theunivene 

... , . , itself has a 

variety, all created beings are bound up into one whole, fin** object, 
tending as it were in a mass to the one final object of all, 
and together representing a harmonious picture of the 
Divine Ideal. 

V. Is this world, taken as a whole, the best of possible is the world 
worlds ? In the treatise on God, we have already shown world" 
that God was not bound to create the best of possible 
worlds, and that a world than which no other could be 

more perfect is an absurdity. Still we may safely say 
that this world is better than any which a creature could 
excogitate ; that, by means of the Incarnation, it affords 
God the highest possible glorification, and thus attains its 
end better than any other ; and, lastly, that, given the final 
object preordained by God and the component parts of 
the world, the arrangement of things and their government 
by God are the best conceivable. 

376 A Manual of Cathode Theology, [I:OOK in 


CHAP. in. NONE of the Fathers has written a complete treatise on 

SECT. 118. 

the Angels. The work De Ccelesti Hierarchia, attributed 

Authorities. . ,. 1 i i 

to Dionysms the Areopagite, is the only one which deals 
with the subject, and it is the source and the model of all 
the speculations of the Schoolmen. Of these may be con- 
sulted with advantage Petr. Lomb., 2 Sent., dist. 2 sqq. ; 
William of Paris, De Universo, par. ii. (very complete and 
deep) ; Alex, of Hales, 2. p., qq. 19-40, and St. Bonaventure 
on the Lombard, I.e. ; St. Thomas, the Angelic doctor, /., 
qq. 50-64; Qq. Dispp. De Spirit. Creaturis ; Contra Gentes, 
\. ii., cc. 46-55, 91-101 ; and Opusc. xv., De Substantiis 
Separatis. Suarez, De Angelis, is the most comprehensive 
work on the subject. The doctrine of the Fathers is 
summarized by Petavius, De Angelis (Dogm., torn. iii.). 

SECT. 1 1 8. The Nature, Existence, and Origin of the 
A ngels. 

Termi- I. The name " Angel," ayyeXoc, that is, messenger or 

envoy, designates an office rather than a nature ; and this 
office is not peculiar to the beings usually called Angels. 
Holy Scripture, however, and the Church have appropriated 
this name to them, because it represents them as standing 
between God and the rest of the universe, above man and 
nearer to God on account of their spiritual nature, and 
taking a share in the government of this world, although 
absolutely dependent on God. In this way the term 
" Angel " is even more expressive of their nature than the 
terms " spirit," or " pure spirit," because these latter, if not 
further determined, are applicable also to God. In order 

PART L] The Angels. 377 

to prevent the belief that all superhuman beings are gods, CHAP. in. 
the documents of Revelation, when speaking of these higher "^jj 1 ' 
beings, always style them Angels, or Zebaoth that is, the 
army of God. Evil spirits, being sufficiently distinguished 
from God by their wickedness, are often called " spirits," 
" bad and wicked spirits," and sometimes also " angels." 
The Greek name oa/^uwy (" the knowing or knowledge- 
giving ") is applied, in Holy Writ, exclusively to the spirits 
of wickedness, because they resemble God only in know- 
ledge, and only offer knowledge to men in order to seduce 

II. We conceive the Angels as spiritual beings of a The nature 
higher kind than man, and more like to God ; not belong- 

ing to this visible world, but composing an invisible world, 
ethereal and heavenly, from which they exercise, with and 
under God, a certain influence on our world. 

III. The existence of Angels is an article of Faith, set The exist- 

ence of 
forth alike in innumerable passages of Holy Scripture and Angels. 

in the Symbols of the Church. Scripture does not ex- 
pressly mention the Angels in its narrative of Creation, but 
St. Paul (Col. i. 1 6) enumerates them among the things 
created through the Logos, and divides these " invisible 
beings " into Thrones, Dominations, Principalities and 
Powers. From Genesis to the Apocalypse the sacred 
pages everywhere bear witness to the existence and activity 
of the Angels. It is most probable that their existence 
was part of the primitive revelation, the distorted remains 
of which are found in polytheism. Unaided reason can 
neither prove nor disprove the existence of pure spirits ; 
but it can show the fittingness of their existence. Cf. St. 
Thomas, /., q. 50, a. I ; C. Gentcs, 1. ii., c. 46. 

IV. It is likewise an article of Faith that the Angels Angels are 
were created by God. They are not emanations from His cr ' 
Substance, or the result of any act of generation or forma- 
tion, but were made out of nothing. All other modes of 
origin are inconsistent with the spiritual nature of God 

and of the Angels themselves. Nor can they be eternal 
or without origin, because this is the privilege of the 
Infinite. Cf. Ps. cxlviii. 2 sqq. ; Col. i. 16 ; Matt. xxii. 
30. However, inasmuch as the real reason why Angels 

3/8 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ill. 

are not procreated by generation is their immateriality, 
.. anc j j nasmuc h as j-^jg i mma teriality is an article of Faith, 
it follows that we are bound to believe that no Angel has 
been generated. 

beginning? a V. The Fourth Lateran and the Vatican Councils have 
defined that Angels were not created from all eternity, but 
that they had a beginning. " God ... at the very begin- 
ning of time made out of nothing both kinds of creatures, 
spiritual and corporal, angelic and mundane" (sess. iii., c. i). 
That the creation of the Angels was contemporaneous 
with the creation of the world, is not defined so clearly, 
and, therefore, is not a matter of Faith. The words " simul 
ab initio temporis," according to St. Thomas (Opusc. xxiii.), 
admit of another interpretation, and the definition of the 
Lateran Council was directed against errors not bearing 
directly on the time of the creation of the Angels. The 
probabilities, however, point in the direction of a simul- 
taneous creation : the universe being the realization of one 
vast plan for the glory of God, it might be expected that 
all its parts were created together. 

where were VI. It is not easy to decide where the Angels were 

the Angels 

createa? created. Although their spiritual substance requires no 
bodily (corporeal) room, still, considering that they are 
part and parcel of the universe, it is probable that they 
were created within the limits of the space in which the 
material world is contained. As they are not bound or 
tied to any place, it is vain to imagine where they dwell. 
When Scripture makes heaven their abode, this only im- 
plies that they are not tied to the earth, like man, but that 
the whole of the universe is open to them. 

SECT. 119. Attributes of the Angels Incorruptibility and 
Relation to Space. 

The attributes of the Angels, like the nature of their 
substance, are to be determined by a comparison with the 
attributes of God on the one hand, and with the attributes 
of man on the other. As creatures, the Angels partake of 
the imperfections of man ; as pure spirits, they partake 
of the perfections of God. 

substance is physical ly simple that is, 

PART I] The Angels. 379 

not composed of different parts ; but it is not metaphysi- CHAP, in 
cally simple, because it admits of potentiality and actuality, ~ E ^_ 120 - 
and also of accidents ( 63). It is, moreover, essentially 
immutable or incorruptible ; Angels cannot perish by dis- 
solution of their substance, nor can any created cause destroy 
them. For this reason they are essentially immortal, not, 
indeed, that their destruction is in itself an impossibility, 
but because their substance and nature are such that, when 
once created, perpetual conservation is to them natural. 
As to accidental perfections, Angels can acquire and lose 
them. Observe, however, that the knowledge they once 
possess always remains, and that a loss of perfection can 
only consist in a deviation from goodness. 

Angels differ from the human soul in this, that they 
neither are nor can be substantial forms informing a body. 
When they assume a body, their union with it is neither 
like that of soul and body, nor like the hypostatic union 
of the two natures in Christ. The assumed body is, as it 
were, only an outer garment, or an instrument for a tran- 
sitory purpose. Cf. St. Thomas, /., q. 51 ; Suarez, 1. iv., 
33 sqq. 

II. As regards relation to space, Angels, having like Relation to 
God no extended parts, cannot occupy a place so that sp 
the different portions of space correspond with different 
portions of their substance, nor do they require a corporal 
space to live in, nor can any such space enclose them. On 
the other hand, they differ from God in this, that they can 
be present in only one place at a time, and thus can move 
from place to place. Their motion is, however, unlike 
that of man ; probably it is as swift as thought, or even 

SECT. 1 20. The Natural Life and Work of the Angels, 

I. The life of the Angels is purely intellectual, without Life of tin 
any animal or vegetative functions, and therefore more like 
the Divine Life than the life of the human soul. The 
whole substance of an Angel is alive, whereas, in man, one 
part is life-giving and another life-receiving. The angelic 
life is inferior to the Divine in this, that the Angel's life is 
not identical with its substance ; and also in this, that it is 

380 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ux 

CHAP. in. susceptible of increase and decrease in perfection. So far 
"uJ 20 ' all Theologians agree. But they differ very considerably 
as to how Angels live that is, how and what they think 
and will. Leaving aside the abstruse speculations on this 
subject, we shall here only touch on the few points in 
which anything like certitude is attainable. 

intellect and II. It is certain from Revelation that the natural intel- 

knowledge A t -n 

of the lect of Angels is essentially more perfect than the human. 


and essentially less perfect than the Divine Intellect. Thus 
Scripture makes the knowledge of Angels the measure of 
human knowledge, e.g. 2 Kings xiv. 20 ; and in Mark 
xiii. 32, Christ says that even the Angels much less man 
do not know the time of the last judgment. The Fathers 
call the angels voa^, intelligentias, that is, beings possessed 
of immediate intuitive knowledge ; but man they call 
Aoytk-oc, rationalis that is, a being whose knowledge is for 
the most part inferential : whence the superiority of angelic 
knowledge is manifest. Compared to the Divine Know- 
ledge, the imperfection of the angelic, according to Scrip- 
ture and the Fathers, consists in this, that the Angels cannot 
naturally see God as He is, by immediate, direct vision ; 
that they cannot penetrate the secrets either of the Divine 
decrees, or of the hearts of man, or of each other ; much 
less do they know future free actions. Cf. 69 and 80. 
T^AngdL HI. As to the will of the Angels, we can only gather 
from Revelation that it naturally possesses the perfection 
of the human will, but at the same time also shares to 
some extent in the imperfections of the latter. The 
angelic will is free as to the choice of its acts, and is able 
to perform moral actions and to enjoy true happiness. 
But it is not, by virtue of its nature, directed to what is 
morally good ; its choice may fall on evil. This much can 
be gathered from what is revealed on the fall of the 

External IV. It is evident that the Angels are able to perform 

acdvityof all the actions of man, except those which are peculiar to 

the Angeis. man Q ^ accoun t o f his composite nature. Revelation, 

moreover, introduces Angels acting in various ways : they 

speak, exhort, enlighten, protect, move, and so forth. It is 

also beyond doubt that the power of Angels is superior to 

PART 1.1 TheAngels. 381 

that of man, both as regards influence on material things, CHAP. IIL 
and on man himself. As to the mode of action, we know EC .I_" 
but little with certainty. The Angel acts by means of his 
will, like God ; but he neither creates out of nothing, nor 
generates like man. The only immediate effect an Angel 
can produce by an act of his will, is to move bodies or 
forces so as to bring them into contact or separate them, 
and thus to influence their action. Bodies are moved from 
place to place locally; spirits or minds are only moved 
" intentionally ; " that is, the Angel who wishes to act upon 
our souls or upon other spirits, puts an object before them 
and directs their attention towards it. The power of 
Angels over matter exceeds that of man as regards the 
greater masses they are able to move and the velocity and 
exactness or appropriateness of the motion. These ad- 
vantages enable them to produce effects supernatural in 
appearance, although entirely owing to a higher knowledge 
of the laws of nature and to superior force. As this power 
belongs to the angelic nature it is common to both good 
and bad Angels. 

Angelic speech would seem to consist simply in this, 
that the speaker allows the listener to read so much of his 
thoughts as he wishes to communicate. Hence Angels 
can converse at any distance ; the listener sees the thought 
of the speaker, and thus all possibility of error or deception 
is excluded. 

V. Angels have over the body of man the same power ^If",. ^ 
as over other material bodies. Over the human mind, man - 
however, their power is circumscribed within narrow limits. 
They cannot speak to man as they speak to each other, 
because the mind of man is unable to grasp things purely 
spiritual. But, by their power over matter, they can 
exercise a great influence on the lower life of the soul, 
and thus indirectly on its intellectual life also. They can 
propose various objects to the senses, and also move the 
sense-organs internally ; they can act on the imagination, 
and feed it with various fancies ; and lastly, as the intellect 
takes its ideas from the imagination, Angels are enabled to 
guide and direct the noblest faculty of man cither for 
better or for worse. 

382 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. HI. SECT. 121 Number and Hierarchy of the Angels. 

SECT. i2i. 

I. We are certain, from Revelation, that the number of 

Number of . 

the Angels. Angels is exceedingly great, forming an army worthy of 
the greatness of God. This army of the King of heaven 
is mention in Deut. xxx. 2 (cf. Ps. Ixvii. 18); then in the 
vision of Daniel (vii. 10), and in many other places. 

HOW many H. if the Angels can be numbered, there must exist 


between them at least personal differences ; that is to say, 
each angel has his own personality. But whether they 
are all of the same kind, like man, or constitute several 
kinds, or are each of a different kind or species, is a 
question upon which Theologians differ. 

The nine 1 1 1. The Fathers have divided the Angels into nine 

Orders or Choirs, the names of which are taken from 
Scripture. They are : Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, 
Dominations (icvptor/j-ec), Virtues ($vva/ t Powers (loi- 
o-/at), Principalities (ap^ai), Archangels and Angels. The 
first two and the last two orders are often named in Holy 
Writ ; the five others are taken from Ephes. i. 21 and Col. i. 
1 6. It seems clear enough, especially if we take into account 
the all but unanimous testimony of the Fathers, that these 
names designate various Orders of Angels ; whence it 
follows that there are at least nine such Orders not, how- 
ever, that there are only nine. Considering, however, that 
for the last thirteen centuries the number nine has been 
accepted as the exact number of angelical Choirs, we are 
justified in accepting it as correct. 

It is impossible to determine the differences between 
the several Orders of Angels with anything like precision. 
The three highest Orders bear names which seem to point 
to constant relations with God, as if these Angels formed 
especially the heavenly court; the three lowest express 
relations to man ; the three middle ones only point to > 
might and power generally. 

The fallen angels probably retain the same distinctions 
as the good ones, because these distinctions are, in all I 
likelihood, founded upon differences in natural perfections. 
Scripture speaks of "the prince of demons " (Matt. xii. 24), 
and applies some of the names of angelic Orders to bad 
angels (Eph. vi. 12). 

On the supernatural life of the Angels, see infra, 153. 


SECT. 122.. -Theological Doctrines concerning the Material 

World generally. 

THE things of this world come within the domain of CHAP. iv. 
Theology only in as far as they are the work of God, and 
have relations with Him and with man. The general 
truths bearing on this matter may be found out even by 
natural reason ; but they have also been revealed to us, 
and have thus become the subject-matter of Theology. 
But Theology is concerned with the natural truths in 
question only in as far as they have a religious signifi- 
cance that is, in as far as they express the relations of 
natural things to God or to man as their end and object. 
The general truths revealed, especially in Genesis, refer 
to the origin, the nature, and the end or final object of the 
material world. 

I. The Material world owes its existence to a creative The origin 
act of God ; the several species of things, their differences, teriai world. 
their position and functions in the universe, are, upon the 
whole, the direct work of God, Who has made them 
according to a well-defined plan. Neither the angels nor 
mere natural evolution made the world what it is. Organic 
beings, which now propagate themselves by means of 
generation, owe their existence neither to spontaneous 
generation nor to unconscious evolution of inorganic 
matter and forces ; each species has been created to repre- 
sent a Divine exemplar, and has received the power to 
perpetuate itself by producing individuals of the same 
species. This doctrine is most expressly contained in the 
narrative of creation in Genesis. 

384 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ill. 

CHAP. iv. II. The material beings composing the universe are 

SECT 123* 

' ' good in substance and nature, and are perfectly adapted to 
4ood. the ends for which they were created. This is the Catholic 
dogma opposed to Manichaeism, which held the things of 
the material world to be not only imperfect, but even bad. 
On this point the words of Genesis are plain enough : 
" God saw all things that He had made, and they were 
very good " (i. 31). 

Ibw' 1 r ^' "^ e en d or object of material beings is the glory 

of God and the service of man. Man is in no wise 
the servant of the inferior world ; his will is not deprived 
of freedom and ruled by the laws of nature. 

That God created the world, made it good, and made 
it for the service of man, is contained in the narrative of 
the origin of the world in the Book of Genesis. But the 
Church has never defined, and consequently has left open 
to discussion, how far the Mosaic narrative, besides these 
three points, is of a doctrinal character, and how far it is 
simply rhetorical or poetical. The scope of the present 
work forbids us to enter into a detailed discussion of this 
subject. In the following section we shall state briefly 
what appears to us to be the better opinion. 

SECT. 123. The Doctrinal Portions of the Mosaic 

The work of I. The work of the six days, the Hexahemeron, lies 

'.crmation. . ..... _ . . . 

between the creation of the chaos, or first creation, and the 
commencement of the regular government of the world by 
God. It is the work of formation, or second creation 
described as " the making of the world out of formless 
matter" (icrietv rov Koa/uiov e vArjc afjioptyov, Wisd. xi. 1 8), 
and alluded to by St. Paul : " By faith we understand 
that the world was framed by the word of God : that from 
invisible things visible things might be made " (7rtor 
Ka-rjpTiadai TOUC aluvaQ pfjfiaTi Geov, H TO /uij EK 
TO (3\tTr6/j.tvov ytyovtvat, Heb. xi. 3). In this 
sense the Hexahemeron is properly a " Cosmogony," in the 
ancient meaning of the word, viz. the history of the forma- 
tion and ornamentation of this visible universe, of which 
the earth is the centre and man the king. It is not a 

PART L] The Material Universe. 385 

cosmogony in the modern sense, because it does not deal CHAP. iv. 
with the formation and ornamentation of other worlds than SEC _I_ 123 
ours ; nor a Geogony, because it deals only with the external 
aspect of the earth. 

II. The object of the Mosaic narrative being to rep re- The Cosmos 
sent the Cosmos as a Divine work of art, made not with wori^oTart. 
hands, but by the Word of God, Who is the expression 
and image of the Divine Power and Wisdom, we must 
expect to find the particular productions represented as 
parts devised for the perfection of the whole work. And, 
in fact, in the order observed by Moses, the work of each 
day appears as part of a magnificent picture in which all 
the things of this visible world find their place. The first 
half of the narrative describes the formation and placing 
of the chief components of the Cosmos, which lay latent 
in the fluid chaotic mass. They are disposed in concentric 
spheres, beginning with the outermost: light, the atmo- 
sphere, and the solid earth. Then follows, in the second half, 
the adorning and filling in of this framework : the heavenly 
bodies shed their light on it ; living things appear, beginning 
with the lowest and closing with man. The production of 
plants forms the transition between the work of formation 
and the work of ornamentation. The division of the six 
days' work into the work of separation during the first 
three days, and the work of ornamentation during the three 
last days, has been in favour since the Middle Ages. 

The general plan of the Cosmos centres in the idea 
that the world is a dwelling-place for man. The Divine 
Architect first produces the raw material in an obscure 
and formless mass ; He afterwards creates light, and spans 
the roof of the house, and gives it a solid floor ; here He 
places the vegetable kingdom as an ornament and as a 
storehouse for the food of living creatures ; then an inex- 
haustible supply of light is shed abroad ; next come the 
beings destined for the service of man, having their abode 
in the waters and in the air ; and lastly, the animals which 
dwell in the same house as man himself. The beauty of 
a work of art combined with the usefulness of a dwelling- 
place such is the character of the Cosmos. order of the 

III. The narrative is a genetic explanation of the work K 

2 C 

386 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ill 

CHAP iv. of creation that is, an enumeration of its parts in the 
SECT^S. orc j er j n w hi c h t} ie y necessarily or naturally succeeded 
one another. Whether we consider the work of the six 
days as six separate creations or as six tableaux of one 
instantaneous creative act, the order of nature must be 
observed. If God made things successively, He could 
not make them otherwise than in the order which their 
nature requires ; if He made them in one moment of time, 
the Sacred Writer had no other foundation for a successive 
narrative than this same order of nature. The more we 
study the separate parts of the Divine work, the better 
we see how they fit into each other, and how exactly the 
narrative gives to each the place it holds in nature. 
TheCreation IV. The best Catholic authorities on the present 
be a Ji i'n- ve question are so persuaded that the intention of the writer 
s ' of Genesis was to give a genetic account of the architec- 
tonic order of the world, that they deem it admissible that 
the whole act of creation occupied only one instant of time, 
and that the division of it into six days is but a way of 
presenting to the reader " the order according to the con- 
nection of causes " rather than the order " according to 
the intervals of time" (St. Aug., De Gen. ad Lit., 1. v.). 
Such is the opinion of St. Augustine, and St. Thomas 
thinks it highly probable (I., q. 66, a. i). Without ex- 
amining what may be said for or against it, we may notice 
that St. Augustine has, until lately, found few followers. 
See Reusch, The Bible and Nature ; Bp. Clifford, Dublin 
Review, April, 1883; Dr. Molloy, Geology and Revelation ; 
Zahm, Bible, Science, and Faith, chap. iv. 

The Mosaic V. It is quite possible and even probable that the Mosaic 
possibiy'be 7 narrative is of a highly poetical character. In language 
simple and true, it puts before the reader a vivid and 
sublime picture of the artistic work of the Creator. Then 
according to Heb. xi. 3, its aim is to show how the com- 
ponent parts of the cosmos were brought by the Creator 
from darkness to light, i.e. made visible. This poetical 
conception finds expression in the "evening and morning" 
of which the days are composed. The Hebrew words for 
evening and morning are etymologically equivalent to 
confiisio and apertio. At the very beginning of the narra- 

PART I.] The Material Universe. 387 

tive the opposition between darkness and light appears, CHAP, iv 
and seems to point out that in all other works the same E< :3jj a3 - 
idea is adhered to. Again, the writer's intention of making 
the Creation week the model of the human week may have 
led him to give to the periods of the former the same 
number and name as those borne by the periods of the 
latter. Lastly, it is possible that the writer received his 
inspiration by means of a prophetic vision, in which the 
several phases of Creation were pictured before his mind. 
If so, his narrative would naturally be of a poetical 
character : the divisions he adopts and the name of days 
which he applies to them may be no more than a means of 
conveying to the reader the number and splendour of the 
visions of his mind. These and similar considerations, 
quite independently of natural science, have induced the 
theologians of all times to allow a very free interpretation 
of the six days' duration. See Dublin Review, April, 1883. 

VI. Natural Science has also undertaken to give an Creation ai.<; 
account of the origin of things. The interest which sdenS. 
Theology takes in this natural history of Creation is purely 
apologetic, and consequently does not come within our 

Elaborate attempts have been made to reconcile the 
two accounts. Veith and Bosizio held that the six days 
were days of twenty-four hours ; the destructions of flora 
and fauna, the remains of which are now found in the 
crust of the earth, are placed by them in the times between 
Adam and the Flood. Buckland, Wiseman, Westermaier, 
Vosen, and Molloy admit the destruction of a world 
.before the Hexahemeron. Others, as Pianciani, Hettinger, 
Holzammer, and Reusch, place the catastrophes within 
the six days of creation, but take the " days " to be long 
periods. Reusch, however, in the third edition of his 
work, acknowledges the impossibility of thus establishing 
a harmony between natural and supernatural cosmogony, 
because natural science admits the simultaneous origin 
of plants and animals, and their continued simultaneous 
existence. Bishop Clifford and other Catholic writers cut 
the knot by considering the so-called Mosaic cosmogony, 
not as a narrative, but as a hymn in which various 

388 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK m. 

SECT. 123. , 


CHAP. iv. portions of creation are commemorated on the days of the 
See the DiMin Review, I.e. On this question, see 
also Proteus and A madeus, letter viii. 

It is best, however, to state frankly that it is not the 
object of Revelation to teach natural science. In the 
words of St. Augustine (quoted by Leo XIII., in the Encyc. 
Providentissimiis Deus\ "The Holy Ghost, speaking 
through the Sacred Writers, did not wish to teach men 
matters which in no way concerned their salvation " (De 
Gen. ad Litt., II. ix. 20). St. Jerome, too, declares that 
many things are related in Scripture according to the 
opinions prevalent at the time, and not according to actual 
fact (In Jerem. Proph* xxviii.). And St. Thomas dis- 
tinctly states that Moses suited his narrative to the capacity 
of his readers, and therefore followed what seemed to be 
true (i q. 70, a. i). See supra, p. 56. Lagrange, Historical 
Criticism and the Old Testament, 3 rd Lect. 


THE commentaries of the Fathers on the Hexahemeron, CHAP. v. 
especially St. Ambrose and St. Gregory of Nyssa. St. SEC _Ii_ ia4 ' 
Aug., De Gen. ad Lit., op. perf., 1. vi. sqq., and in his writ- Authorities - 
ings against the Manichseans, esp. De Duabus Animabus 
Petr. Lomb., 2 Sent., dist. 16 sqq., with comm. of St. Bonav., 
^Egidius, and Estius ; William of Paris, De Anima ; St. 
Thorn., /., qq. 75-93 ; Cont. Gent., 1. ii. 56 sqq. Suarez, De 
Opif., 1. iii. sqq., and De Anima; Benedict Pereyra, in 
Genesim, 1. iv. sqq. ; Kleutgen, Philos., diss. viii. 

The theological doctrine on Man may be treated under 
three heads : 

A. Man as the image and likeness of God. 

B. The origin and substantial character of man's 

C. The characteristics of man's life. 

SECT. 124. Interpretation of Gen. i. 26: "Let Us make 
man to Our image and likeness" 

I. The change of phrase from " Let there be " to " Let Us 
make," when God is about to create man, and the descrip- 
tion of man as the image of the Creator, give to this last 
and crowning creation a special solemnity. The notion of 
man as the image of God is the perfect theological idea of 
man. God Himself looks upon man, not like philosophers, 
as an animal endowed with reason, but as His own like- 
ness. This idea exhibits man's essence and destiny in 
direct relation to God. It affords a basis for a deeper 
conception of human nature in itself, and also as regards 
its natural and supernatural evolution and final perfection ' 

390 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. v. in short, it describes the ideal man, as realized by Divine 
SECT.J24. i nst } tut i on j n Adam. 

The text (Gen. i. 26) is so full of meaning that many 
explanations of it are given by the Fathers and by Theolo- 
gians, each seeming to view the text under a different 
aspect and to find in it a new meaning. The text runs : 
" Let Us make man to Our image (W??) and likeness 
('3D-1ECQ Sept. icar' a/cova KCU ica0' ojuotaxnv) : and let him 
have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the 
fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and 
over every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. 
And God created man to His own image, and to the 
image of God created He him ; male and female created 
He them." 

The Hebrew Zelem is, like our word image, something 
concrete, originally meaning a shadow ; it is also used to 
designate the idols of false divinities. Demuth, on the 
contrary, is something abstract, well-rendered by 6//oi'w<ne 
in the Septuagint a similitude or likeness. The conjunc- 
tion of the terms " image " and " likeness " is found nowhere 
else in Holy Scripture, except Gen. v. 3. Wherever the 
same idea is expressed in other passages, only one of the 
two terms is employed a clear proof that they are con- 
sidered as synonymous by the sacred writers. " God 
created man to His own image, to the image of God 
(Elohim) created He him " (Gen. i. 27). " God created 
man ; He made him to the likeness of God (B'Demut/i) 
(Gen. v. i). "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, his blood 
shall be shed : for man was made to the image of God " 
(Gen. ix. 6). The Hebrew text evidently shows that 
man is the image of God, and not merely has this image 
in him. 
Expiana- II. From this we are enabled to determine the precise 

sense of the text in the following manner : 

Man essen I. It is evident that the expression " image and like- 

fmage*" ness of God " signifies a distinct perfection belonging to 
the nature of man, or rather constituting man's specific 
essence as distinguished from all other visible beings, and 
therefore not capable of being lost by sin. Indeed, man 
is described in the same terms before and after his fall, 

PABT Tj Man. 391 

The literal sense of the text contains no more than this. CHAP, v 
It must, however, be granted that, in their fullest meaning, SECT - "* 
the words " image " and " likeness," especially the latter, 
also refer to the supernatural likeness of man to God. 
Those Fathers who expound the " likeness " in the sense of 
a supernatural similitude to God, speak from the stand- 
point of the New Testament. The first readers of Genesis, 
for whom the book was primarily written, certainly were 
unable to detect in it any but the natural and literal sense 
given above. 

2. The expression, "to make to the image," may also not merely 
be understood of a destination of man to become similar f m ge, 
to God either by following the good inclinations of his 
nature or by yielding to a supernatural influence. But 

such is not the literal and proper sense ; the text declares 
what man is, not what he ought to become. His higher 
destiny is a necessary consequence of his being an image 
of God. His power to attain his natural destination 
that is, his aptitude to lead a moral life is part of the 
nature which God has created in him ; and, inasmuch as 
it is neither acquired nor freely accepted, it is not lost 
by sin, but remains as long as human nature itself. Sin, 
however, may suspend or impair man's moral faculty. 

3. Although man is really the image of God, and not yet only an 
merely destined to become such, still he is an image only imagf 
in a relative and analogical sense. The Son of God alone 

is God's absolute and perfect Image ; and also the Ideal, 
or Exemplar, after which man is made (Heb. i. 3 ; 2 Cor. 
iv. 4). 

The words of Gen. I. 26, give a definition of man as 
a whole ; for they apply to the compound of body and 
soul afterwards described, Gen. ii. 7 : " And the Lord God 
formed man of the slime of the earth, and breathed into 
his face the breath of life ; and man became a living 
soul." Thus, by his body, which is the organ and temple 
of the soul, man is an image, a shadow (Zelem, simu- 
lacrum) of God ; by his spiritual soul he bears a real 
likeness to Him ; and as animated body, he is the living 
image and likeness, or the living effigy of the living God. 
As visible and living image of God, man is the crown of 

392 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK m. 

CHAP. v. visible creation (the Cosmos of the Cosmos, Const. Apost., 
SECT.J2S. v ^ ^ . v j-^ ^ anc j^ ag suc j lj even animals must revere 

and fear him. 

The Fathers III. The ante-Nicene Fathers considered man's body as 
I'mageo'f the image of God. In the fourth century, however, when 
anthropomorphic heresies arose, the custom prevailed 
of insisting almost exclusively on the likeness which the 
soul bears to God. The reasons for this change are 
obvious. The body is the image of God only in as far as 
it is informed, animated, and worked by the soul ; besides, 
there was danger of conceiving the Ideal after whose like- 
ness man is made, as being itself a body. Again, in the 
Arian controversies, the terms ajcwv and imago, as applied 
to the Son of God, the Image of the Father, had received 
a fixed meaning, viz. a likeness such as exists only between 
the Persons of the Trinity. 

SECT. 125. Man the Image of God. 

I. The definition of man given in Genesis shows better 
than any other the excellence and dignity of his essence, 
position, and destiny among and above the rest of creation. 
Man the I. The image of God is seen in man from the fact that 

Diverse! ' man is able and is destined to rule the whole visible world 
and to turn it to his service. His dominion is an imitation 
of Divine Providence, with the limitations that necessarily 
distinguish the rule of a creature from that of the Creator 
(Ps. viii.) This attribute of regal dignity and dominion essen- 
tially implies Personality in man. None but a personal 
being can be the end of other beings, can possess itself, 
enjoy happiness, and use other things for its own ends. The 
excellence of personality is founded upon intellect and 
will. For this reason, the Fathers find the likeness of man 
to God expressed most vividly in these two faculties. 
Holy Scripture itself points out in several places the 
dignity which accrues to*man from his being the image of 
God (cf. Gen. ix. 6 and James iii. 9). 

His Soul. 2. The human soul bears a further likeness to God in the 

spirituality of its substance ; and this is the principal point 
of similarity, from which all others spring. The soul is 
created a spirit in order to be like to God ; its spirituality 

PART I] Man. 393 

implies incorruptibility and immortality, by which it is CHAP, v 
placed above all things material and perishable, and par- 
takes of the Divine immutability and eternity (see Wisd. 
ii. 23). The same attribute is the reason why the soul 
cannot be procreated by generation, but is the direct 
product of an act of creation. Hence the Apostle said, 
" Being, then, the offspring of God " (Acts xvii. 29) to 
point out the substantial likeness of the soul to God. 

3. Lastly, the intellectual life of man has the same con- ^ Inte '~ 
tents ( = subject-matter), the same direction, and the same 
final object as the life of God Himself. In fact, the soul 
is enabled and destined to know and to love God Himself, 
and so to apprehend its Divine prototype and to be united 
with Him. " Man is after God's image," says St. Augus- 
tine (De Trin., xiv. 8), " by the very fact that he is capable 
of God and can be a partaker of Him." As the soul 
receives immediately from God its being and life, so also 
it has in God alone its direct final object and its rule of 
life ; that is to say, no fruition except the fruition of God 
can fill the soul ; no one but God can claim the posses- 
sion of the human soul ; no will, except the will of God, 
can bind the free will of the soul. 

II. A comparison of man with the Angels as to the Maninsomt 

' respects 

perfection of representing the image and likeness of God, m r e like 

1 1-1 r ' God than 

shows that, in several respects, man is a more perfect like- the Angels 
ness of his Maker than even the Angels. The latter, of 
course, represent the Divine Substance and the Divine 
intellectual life in greater perfection ; but man has several 
points in his favour. 

1. Just as God, intrinsically present in all things, gives 
being and activity to all things by a continuous act of 
creation, so does the soul of man, intrinsically present in 
his body, hold together and develop its organization, and 
generate new human organisms, thus possessing a plastic 
activity not given to the Angels. 

2. As the All-present Creator breathes life into His 
creatures, the human soul communicates life to the vegeta- 
tive and animal organs of the body, and disposes the new 
organisms for the reception of life ; a privilege also denied 
to the Angels. 

394 -A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. v. 3. The beauty of the world manifests the beauty and 
ECT.J2S. g ranc j eur o f Q O( J . so the noble form and beauty of the 

human body reproduce and manifest the beauty of the soul. 
The works of the Angels, on the contrary, are only works 
of art : they are not their own in the same way as the body 
is the soul's own, and they bear no intrinsic relation to the 
internal beauty of their authors. 

4. The Divine Concurrence, in virtue of which God is 
the Author of all that is done by His creatures, and 
especially of their moral actions, is imaged in the concursus 
or co-operation of the soul with the body : most actions of 
the body are so intimately bound up with those of the soul 
that they form but one action attributable to the soul. 
Angels, on the contrary, have but the power to move 
bodies from without as something distinct from themselves. 

5. Lastly, as God is the final object of all that is, so 
the soul of man is the final object of man's body : the 
body exists entirely for the soul, and has no dignity or 
worth except in as far as it is subservient to the soul. 
But the human body is the highest and most perfect organ- 
ism of the material world, a microcosm, containing in itself 
a compendium of all other organisms : hence the whole 
material world, in and through the human body, bears a 
relation to the human soul, and through the medium of 
the human soul is, as it were, consecrated and brought into 
relation with God. Thus the spirit of man is not only the 
king, but also the priest of the world. The relation of 
the material world to the Angels is merely external ; they 
have no other point in common than that they are created 
by, and for the glory of, the same God. 

Man is, therefore, more than the Angels, the image and 
likeness of God. To man alone this title is given purely 
and simply in Holy Writ. In the later books of the Old 
Testament (Wisd. vii. 26), and in the New Testament, 
Christ, as the Son of God, is also called the Image of 
God (2 Cor. iv. 4), in order to place Him in dignity above 
all creatures whatever, just as the same title places man 
above all visible creatures. The Son of God, however, is 
the Image of the Father in a deeper sense than man : 
the Son is an absolute, man a relative, likeness. Not- 

PABT L] Man. 395 

withstanding this essential difference, the external image, CHAP. v. 
man, corresponds so perfectly with the internal image, the EC J:J 2 
Word, that man is, as it were, a reproduction of the Word. 
In the Incarnation the Internal Image entered the ex- 
ternal and the external image was drawn into the Internal 
by hypostatic union, thus achieving the most astonishing 
of Divine Works. 

SECT. 126. The Likeness to God in Man and Woman. 

From what has been said, it is clear that man is the 
image of God by reason of his peculiar nature. Holy 
Scripture suggests two further questions on this subject, 
viz. Are man and woman in the same degree the image 
of God ? Is the distinction of Persons in God reproduced 
in His created Image ? 

I. As to the first question, it is evident that both man Man more 
and woman are the image of God in as far as both possess thali woman 
the same human nature. The text Gen. i. 27, affirms this '"' 
explicitly ; and in Gen. ii. 18-20, the woman is distin- 
guished from the animals as being a help like unto or 

meet for man that is, of the same nature. 

It is, nevertheless, true that of man alone Scripture 
says, directly and formally, that he is made to the like- 
ness of God. Hence St. Paul teaches : " The man indeed 
ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and 
glory of God ; but the woman is the glory of the man. 
For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the 
man. For the man was not created for the woman, but 
the woman for the man" (i Cor. xi. 7-9). Woman, then, 
having received human nature only mediately through 
man, and to be a helpmate to man, is not an image of God 
in the same full sense as man. Woman, considered as 
wife that is, in a position of subjection and dependence, 
is in no wise an image of God, but rather a type of the 
relation which the creature bears to the Creator and Lord. 

II. The question whether the Trinity is copied in man Man an 

.. .. ,-, ^ ,, T rr t image of the 

originates from the text Gen. i. 26 : " Let Us make man to Trinity. 
Our image," which is commonly understood as having been 
.spoken between the Three Divine Persons. This form of 
speech certainly does not exclude a likeness of man to the 

396 A Manual of Cathohc Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP, v, one nature of God, for it admits the sense, " Let Us make 
SECT.J26. man to Q ur j ma g e by giving him a nature like unto Our 

own." As a matter of fact, Scripture adds directly, " In 
the image of God created He them." The post-Nicene 
Fathers have found no other sense in this text ; on the 
contrary, from the fact that one man is the copy of a nature 
common to three persons, they conclude the unity of sub- 
stance and nature in God. But does the human image of 
the Divine Nature bear also a likeness to the Trinity ? As 
the Divine Persons are not distinct substances but only 
distinct relations, they can be represented only by some 
analogous relation in man. The text of Genesis is silent 
on the existence of such relations. If, however, on theo- 
logical grounds we can show that they do exist, it is safe 
to say that, in the intention of God, the text Gen. i. 26, 27, 
has this meaning. Man's likeness to the Trinity cannot 
be of such perfection that a single human nature is common 
to three distinct persons. On the other hand, the three 
so-called faculties of the soul memory, understanding, and 
will do not present a sufficient likeness, because the three 
corresponding attributes in God are not each of them 
peculiar to a Person, but are merely appropriated. The 
likeness must be found in some productions of human 
nature. Now, here man offers a twofold similarity to the 
Trinity. First, in common with the Angels, his mind pro- 
duces acts of knowledge and love which, especially when 
they are concerned with God, represent the origins and 
relations of the Divine Persons as to their spiritual and 
immanent, but not as to their hypostatic, character. 
Secondly, the production of sons by generation, and the 
production of the first woman out of the side of man, afford 
a likeness to the origins and relationships in the Trinity, 
as considered in their hypostatic character. In other 
words, man's mental acts show forth the identity of Nature 
in the Trinity, while his generative act shows forth the 
distinction of Persons. This twofold likeness to the Trinity 
once more shows man in the centre of creation as the 
complete image of God. 

PART L] Man. 397 

SECT. 127. Essential Constitution of Man. 

The words of Gen. ii. 7, in which the creation of the 
first man is described, contain the essential constitution 
of human nature : " And the Lord God formed man from 
the slime of the earth, and breathed into his face the 
breath of life, and man became a living soul." Man is 
composed of a body taken from the earth, and of a spiritual 
soul breathed into the body by God. The body is made 
for the soul and the soul for the animation of the body : 
from the union of both results a living nature, akin alike 
to the living things on earth and to the living God. 

I. As to the body of man, the Church, basing her Man's body 
doctrine on its revealed origin, teaches that it is composed 

of earthy or material elements ; that its organization as a 
human body is not the result of either chance or the com- 
bined action of physical forces, but is formed after a clearly 
defined Divine Idea, either directly by Divine action, as in 
the case of the first man, or indirectly through the plastic 
force of generation. Hence we cannot admit the descent 
of man from ape-like ancestors by a process of gradual 
organic modification, even supposing that God directly 
created the soul when the organism had acquired a suffi- 
cient degree of perfection. Even apart from Revelation, 
sound philosophy will never admit that such a transforma- 
tion of the types of organic beings is possible as would be 
required to arrive at the human organism. The astonish- 
ing unity in the immense variety of organisms is conclusive 
evidence of the Divine Wisdom of the Creator, but it is 
no evidence whatsoever of a successive transformation of 
the lower into higher organisms. 

II. As to the other component part of man, the soul, Man's soul 
Revelation confirms the teaching of natural reason, viz. 

that the soul of man essentially differs from the vital prin- 
ciples of animals in its acts, its faculties, and its substance. 
It is neither a body nor matter composed of extended 
parts ; its existence and activity are not, like the life-prin- 
ciples of animals, dependent on union with an organism. 
Over and above the life which it imparts to the body, the 
soul, as vovg, or mens, possesses a spiritual life of its own, 

398 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. v. independent of, and different from, the life of the body. 
Its substance, unlike that of other vital principles, is 
entirely incorporeal and immaterial. The soul is a spirit. 
The spirituality of its substance causes it to be naturally 
immortal : it cannot perish, either by decomposition, because 
it has no parts, or by separation from a substratum neces- 
sary to its existence, because it is independent of such 
substratum. Compared to lower vital principles, the human 
soul is more independent or self-sufficient, more simple or 
refined in substance, and altogether more perfect. 

The immortality of the soul, being easily conceived, 
and being of immediate practical importance, is the popular 
characteristic of its substantial character. The spirituality 
of the soul has been defined in the Fourth Lateran Council 
and repeated in that of the Vatican ; the immortality of 
the soul is asserted in a definition of the Fifth Lateran 
Council. The soul, in the two first-mentioned Councils, 
is called " spirit " and " spiritual creature," even as in the 
Vatican Council God is called a " spiritual substance," in 
opposition to " corporal creatures." The word " spirit " 
is not explained by the Councils, and consequently it 
is to be taken in its ordinary sense. The Fifth Council 
of the Lateran condemned as heretical the doctrines of 
Averroes and his school concerning the mortality of the 

The soul the III. The spiritual substance, which is the life-giving 
the entire principle of the body, is also the sole principle of all life 

life of man. \ ....... 

in the body ; besides the soul, there is no other principle 
of life whatever in man. The Church has upheld the 
unity of the vital principle in man against the Apolli- 
narists, who, in order to defend their doctrine that in Christ 
the Logos took the place of the rational soul, pretended 
that the life of the flesh was dependent on another principle 
distinct from the rational soul. " Whoever shall presume 
to assert that the rational or intellectual soul is not directly 
and essentially (per se et essentialiter) the form [that is, 
the life-giving principle] of the body, shall be deemed a 
heretic " (Council of Vienne against the errors of Peter of 

Soul and OllVa). 

IV. The soul, being the principle of animal and vege- 

body one 

PABT i.J Man. 399 

tative life in the body, constitutes with the body one nature. CHAP. v. 
Soul and body are, at least in a certain respect, the common ^jj^ 
and direct principle, or subject, of the functions of the 
animal and vegetative life of man, and therein consists the 
unity of nature. This unity, however, presupposes a union 
of both substances by which they become real parts of one 
whole, become dependent on each other, belong to the com- 
plete and entire essence of which they are the parts, and 
lose, when separated, the perfection they had when united. 
Soul and body united form one complete nature in which 
the soul is the vivifying, active, determining principle, 
and the body the passive element. In the language of 
the Schoolmen this doctrine is expressed by the formula, 
" The soul is the substantial form of the body." See the 
definition of the Council of Vienne, quoted above. 

Holy Scripture clearly indicates the unity of nature in 
man when it calls the soul and body together a " living 
soul " that is, a living thing or animal ; and, at the same 
time, it frequently applies the term " flesh " (caro, crap) to 
the whole man, which could not be done unless body and 
soul together constituted one nature and essence. 

V. Body and soul, united so as to form one nature, also Soul and 
constitute one hypostasis, or person. All the attributes of 
man which give him the dignity of personality spring from 
and reside in his soul ; besides, the soul can exist and live 
independently of the body, whereas the organization and 
life of the body are entirely dependent on the soul. 
Whence it may be said that, although man as a whole is 
a person, yet personality belongs more properly to the soul. 
In the human person, not less than in the human nature, 
the soul is the dominating principle. The prominent posi- 
tion of the soul in the human person ought not, however, 
to be urged to the extent of destroying or endangering the 
unity of the human nature, as Bishop Butler has done in 
his Analogy ; for it is precisely to its place in the nature of 
man that the soul owes its dignity in the human hypo- 

400 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK m. 


SECT. 128. Production of the First Woman The Essence 
of Marriage. 

Distinction I. The words in Gen. i. 27, " Male and female He 
created them," are sufficient proof that the distinction of 
sexes and the corresponding organization of the human 
body were, from the very beginning, intended by the 
Creator as belonging to the concrete constitution of human 
nature. This further implies that the distinction of sexes is 
a natural good, given by God as means to the end expressed 
in Gen. i. 28 : " Increase, and multiply, and fill the earth." 
It is not, therefore, as some heretics have asserted, the 
lesser of two evils, permitted or ordained by the Creator in 
order to avoid a greater one. Again, from the text (Gen. 
i. 27), " To the image of God He created them ; male and 
female He created them," it clearly appears that the sexual 
distinction constitutes merely a difference in the nature of 
man and not a difference of nature. 

suai dis- II. Considered externally and materially, the distinc- 

tinction com- . /- 1*1 <T->< 

montoman tion of sexes is common to man and animals. The sexual 
but h^s a* s> relations of man, however, are of a much higher order than 
Kin. 6 " those of animals. Their object in man is the production, 
with a special Divine co-operation, of a new " image of 
God." This higher consideration is, according to the sense 
of Holy Writ and generally received opinion, the reason 
why man and woman were not, like the animals of different 
sexes, created at the same time and from the same earth. 
The creation of Eve, so fully and solemnly described (Gen. 
ii.), evidently has a far-reaching significance, acknowledged 
by Adam himself and confirmed by the explanations 
given in the New Testament (Matt. xix. 4) ; yet, in the 
first and primary sense, it refers to the sexual relations 
of man. 

Union of III. The formation of the first woman out of a rib of 

woma'n.' 1 the first man, indicates that God intended to give to the 
union of man and woman a higher unity than that of the 
male and female of animals, a unity in keeping with the 
Divine images existing in the parents and in their offspring. 
Thus the production of Eve founded the diversity of sexes, 
but also laid down the constitution of the ordinary principle 

PART L] Man. 40 1 

of propagation. We arrive at this conclusion (i) from CHAP, v 
the effects of the Divine act itself, and (2) from the Divine 
command expressed in the act, a law which determines the 
moral essence of the first and of all other marriages. 

Before we proceed to demonstrate this, we give the 
full text upon which the demonstration is based. "And 
the Lord God said : It is not good for man to be alone : 
let Us make him a help like unto [meet for or answering 
to] himself. And the Lord God having formed out of 
the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls 
of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would 
call them : for whatsoever Adam called any living creature, 
the same is its name. And Adam called all the beasts 
by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the 
cattle of the field : but for Adam there was not found 
a helper like himself. Then the Lord God cast a deep 
sleep upon Adam : and when he was fast asleep, He took 
one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it. And the Lord 
God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman 
[" And He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh 
instead thereof; and the rib which the Lord God had 
taken from the man builded He into a woman," R.V.] : and 
brought her to Adam. And Adam said : This now is bone 
of my bones, and flesh of my flesh ; she shall be called 
woman, because she was taken out of man. Wherefore a 
man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his 
wife : and they shall be two in one flesh" (Gen. ii. 18-24). 

I. The fact that Eve was formed out of Adam, instead The pro- 
of being produced independently, establishes between the Eve made 

S 5 , her radical) 

parents of mankind a substantial and radical unity, befitting one with 
man as the image and representative of the one God in the 
dominion over material nature. Again, the origin of Eve 
shows that in man, who is the likeness of the triune God, 
the communication of nature proceeds from one principle ; 
just as in the Trinity, the communication of the Divine 
Nature proceeds from the Father. Both these considera- 
tions acquire more force from the fact that Eve was formed 
from the bone, not simply from the flesh, of Adam, that is, 
from his inmost self. The Fathers, commenting on this, 
point out that it proves the identity of nature in man and 

2 D 

402 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK ill. 
CH *P. v. woman, and ought to urge us to fraternal love as being 1 all 

SECT. 128. f , . 

oi the same kindred. 

2. The Divine Law, expressed in the fact, by which the 

union of the sexes is consecrated as a conjugal union and 

by which the essence of marriage is determined, contains 

the following elements : 

The physical (#) The idea and will of the Creator, as manifested by 

union must . . - . .... 

be preceded the peculiar production of Eve, is that the physical union 

byajuridicai - , . . , , 

union. of the sexes in the act of generation should be preceded 
by and founded upon a moral, juridical, and holy union of 
the bodies of the progenitors ; a union, that is, which is 
sanctioned by God as the sovereign ruler of nature, and 
gives to each of the parties an exclusive and inviolable 
right over the body of the other, so that, during their union, 
neither can dispose of his body in favour of a third person. 
The Divine idea of such an union is sufficiently expressed 
in the act of producing Eve from the substance of Adam 
as it were, a new member of the same body. The will of 
God that such union should exist is manifested by the 
fact that He Himself planned and executed the formation 
of Eve and handed her over to Adam as flesh of his flesh, 
or rather as united to him by Divine act and will. The 
inmost essence of marriage consists, therefore, in the moral 
union of man and woman. The relation between this ideal 
and spiritual bond on one side, and man's dignity as image 
of God on the other side ; and, further, the possibility and 
necessity of this bond, will appear from the following con- 

(a) The parties are themselves images of God, and, as 
such, possess moral liberty and dominion over the members 
of their bodies. Hence, each of them can acquire a right 
of disposing of the other's body, and can make it morally 
his own. In this manner the two bodies belong to one 
mind, just as though they were naturally members of the 
same body. This mutual transfer and appropriation of 
bodies, rendered possible by the power of disposal which 
their owners have over them, is seen to be necessary if we 
consider that a moral being like man can dispose and 
make use of nothing but what belongs to him by some 
right : especially in the present case, where the appropria- 
tion must be a lasting one. 

PART I.] Man. 


From this moral and juridical point of view alone, how- CHAP. v. 
ever, we cannot perceive how the conjugal union of man ^ C 2LL^' 
and woman possesses that inviolable solidity which makes 
it unlawful for the contractors to break their contract even 
by mutual consent. The human will cannot impart to the 
conjugal union a solidity which almost puts it on a level 
with the union of members of one and the same body. 
The intervention of God is needed, Who, as He established 
the natural union of members in the body, so also estab- 
lished the indivisible, spiritual union of man and woman 
in matrimony. He intervenes as the absolute master of 
both bodies, and disposes of them as His own property, 
making each of them an organ of the spirit of the other. 
In the case of Adam and Eve He intervened directly, 
previous to any act on their part ; He intervenes indirectly 
or mediately in subsequent marriages, acting through the 
will of the contracting parties. The Divine intervention 
gives sanctity as well as inviolability to the contract. 

(/3) The reason why marriage must be considered in Dignity of 
this fuller and higher sense is that the object of marriage m ' 
is the production of an "image and likeness" of God. 
This entails, on the one hand, that the product of genera- 
tion should come into existence as the property of God 
alone, and consequently as something consecrated to Him ; 
and, on the other hand, that the carnal action of the parents 
cannot attain its object without a special creative co-opera- 
tion on God's part, the parents acting as the instrumental 
cause, subordinated to Him. The two bodies united act 
as one organ of the Divine Spirit. Hence the progenitors, 
when giving each other power over their bodies, ought to 
consider them as the special property of God, and ought to 
dispose of them in His name and by His power. In this 
manner the moral and juridical transfer of the bodies re- 
ceives, in its very essence, a religious consecration ; and the 
unity of members resulting therefrom is endowed with the 
character of holiness and inviolability. It is, in a way, like 
the natural unity of the members of the same body, and 
cannot be dissolved by the mere will of the parties. Generation 

() It is evident that the procreation of children and nountiST 
carnal pleasure are not the sole objects of marriage. The m b riLgc!' 

404 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK m. 

CHAP. v. fact that Eve was formed out of a rib of Adam, points to 
BC 2^ 29 ' the formation of a society of personal beings, founded upon 
mutual respect and love, or upon the union of minds and 
hearts. The society of husband and wife, being the root 
of all other societies, is the most natural and the most 
intimate of all, and consequently the most complete and 
indissoluble. The spiritual or social aspect of the union of 
the sexes, as ordained by the Creator, appertains to its 
essence to such an extent that it can exist, not indeed with- 
out the possibility of carnal connection, but without its 
actual realization. Such a virginal union fulfils at least 
the social ends of marriage. It may even correspond with 
the intentions of the Creator in an eminent degree, if the 
parties regard their union as consecrated by and to God, 
and make it the means of mutual assistance for leading a 
holy life. 

Thenspec- (c) Lastly, the way in which God produced the first 
husband woman points out the respective rank of husband and wife. 
Adam is the principle of Eve ; Eve is given him as a help : 
hence the woman is a member and a companion of man, 
who, according to the Apostle, is the head of the wife 
(Eph. v. 23). Yet the wife is no slave or handmaid. Adam 
became the principle of Eve only by giving up a portion 
of his own substance, and Eve was made by God a help 
like unto Adam himself. There is, therefore, a co-ordination 
of interests and rights in the conjugal union : the husband 
is the owner of the body of the wife, and the wife is the 
owner of the body of her husband ; respect and love are 
due on both sides ; and the wife shares in the husband's 
dominion over all things that are his (See Leo XIII.'s 
EncycL Arcamnn). 

SECT. 129. Reproduction of Human Nature. 
The com- \ Immediately after the creation of the first man and 

rnand to 

increase. woman, God blessed them as before He had blessed the 
beasts : " Increase (Heb. bear fruit, i.e. generate), and 
multiply, and fill the earth" (Gen. i. 28). These words 
imply that the multiplication of mankind was to take 
place by generation that is, by the reproduction of human 
nature by its first possessors. Moreover the blessing 

L] Man. 405 

points to a special Divine co-operation in the multiplica- CHAP. v. 
tion of mankind, especially as after the creation of the ^JLJ 29 
plants neither blessing nor command to multiply is 

Although the blessing given to man and the blessing 
given to the beasts are expressed in the same terms, still 
there is a difference in their import. The blessing on man 
is followed by the commandment to subdue and rule the 
earth, a commandment not given to the beasts. Hence 
the product of human generation possesses, by virtue of 
the Divine blessing, an excellence, an essential perfection, 
not granted to the beasts. But if there is an essential 
difference in the product of the two generations, a similar 
difference necessarily exists in the two principles. In 
other words : God's blessing on the generation of man 
implies a Divine co-operation, promised neither to the 
beasts nor to the plants. 

This conclusion is confirmed and further illustrated if 
we consider it in connection (i) with the Divine Idea of 
man (God's image and likeness) and (2) with the descrip- 
tion given of the origin of the first man. 

1. In Gen. v. I we read : " God created man, and made The pro duct 
him to the likeness of God," and v. 3 : " Adam begot a son generation 
to his own image and likeness ; " from which it appears that, o" Godf 
just as Adam had been made to the image of God, so, by 
generation, he produced offspring to his own image. In 

other words, the images of God were multiplied by way of 
generation, whence the proper object of generation is the 
production of an image of God. But an image of God 
cannot be made without a special Divine co-operation. 
Human generation results in an image of the progenitor 
and an image of God : the two are inseparable. That, 
however, which makes the image of the progenitor into an 
image of God, that whereby the nature of man is like unto 
the nature of God, viz. his spiritual soul, must be referred 
to a special, creative co-operation on God's part. 

2. The preceding consideration acquires new force from The creation 

i r A of Adam and 

the manner in which the first man was created. As the the genera- 

., tion of Cam 

creation of Adam was different from that of lower animals, compared, 
so the reproduction of Adam's nature is different from that 

406 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. v. of the beasts. The body alone of the first man was taken 
" 9 ' from the earth, and made a fit dwelling for his spiritual 
soul : whereas the soul was breathed into him by the 
Creator. In like manner, the procreative action of man 
only prepares a fit dwelling for the soul, which is the 
immediate work of God. 

Scripture. Holy Scripture teaches the same doctrine : " Adam 

knew his wife, who conceived and brought forth Cain, say- 
ing : I have gotten a man through God" (Gen. iv. I.) And 
again : " (Before) the dust return into its earth, from whence 
it was, and the spirit return to God Who gave it " (Eccles. 
xii. 7.) 

From the close connection of the words " increase " (be 
fruitful, generate) and " multiply," it further appears that the 
multiplication of human nature in its entirety, viz. of material 
body and spiritual soul, by the command of God, shall 
take place in connection with the generative act of man. 
The act of human generation, therefore, is not intended 
merely to prepare a habitation for a soul already existing, 
nor does God create the soul independently of the act of 
generation. He produces it only for and in the body 
organized by human generation. The manner in which 
the first man was created throws an additional light on 
these propositions. 

origin of the II. The question of the origin of the human soul is of 
great theological importance, because of its bearing on the 
dogmas of Original Justice, Original Sin, and Redemption. 
It must be solved in such a way as not to clash with the 
propositions just established, viz. (i) that the product of 
generation is the image and likeness of God, enjoying 
personal dignity and personal individuality ; (2) that 
generation is a real and true reproduction and com- 
munication of the whole nature of the progenitor ; and 
(3) that between parent and offspring there exists a 
relation of unity and dependence. The difficulty of a 
solution in harmony with so many other points of 
doctrine has always been recognized by the Fathers, 
which may account for their indecision and vagueness 
when dealing with it. Part of the difficulty, however, 
arose from an incorrect statement of the question. What 

PART I.] Man. 407 

we have really to inquire is the origin of man as a whole, CHAP. v. 
rather than how the soul that is, a part of the whole SE( ^jj 2 9- 
comes into being ; and next, how far God concurs in the 
act of generation. As, however, the origin of the soul is 
the burning point of the question, and as the errors opposed 
to the Catholic doctrine are mainly connected with and 
named after it, we shall deal first with the origin of the soul. 

i. False notions concerning the origin of the soul have Erroneous 
been due chiefly to the neglect of the Divine idea of man and 
of the origin of the first man. These errors may be divided 
into two opposite classes, the truth being the mean between 

(a) The first class contains the various opinions com- 
prised under the general term of Generationism. This 
doctrine lays stress upon the fact that human generation 
is a real and true reproduction of the whole human nature. 
Starting from this, it goes on to assert that in man, as in 
all other living beings on earth, the generating principle 
ought to produce, out of and by means of itself , the spiritual 
soul, which is consequently as much the product of genera- 
tion as the bodily organism. 

() The second class goes by the general name of Pre- 
existentianism. This system insists on the spiritual inde- 
pendence or self-subsistent character of the soul, and 
consequently asserts that the origin of the soul must be 
entirely independent of human generation, and that, like 
the angels, the soul is created by God alone before the 
bodily organism is generated by man. 

Both these systems are equally injurious to the doctrine 
of the Church. Generationism destroys the image of God 
in the soul, supposing, as it does, or at least logically lead- 
ing to the conclusion, that the soul is not an independent, 
purely spiritual substance. At any rate, this system de- 
prives the human soul of a privilege essential to the " image 
of God," viz. that of dependence on God alone as its Cause. 
Pre-existentianism, on the other hand, destroys the unity 
of human nature : first, in the individual, by estranging the 
two component parts from each other; secondly, in man- 
kind as a whole, by cutting off the individuals from a 
common stem. In this system, generation is not really 

408 A Manual of Catholic Theology. [BOOK in. 

CHAP. v. the means of propagating mankind ; it makes the origin 
29 ' of the image of God something distinct from the origin of 

man as such. 

the Catholic 2. The doctrine opposed to the above-named errors is 
CreaVionism. commonly called Creationism, although " Concreationism " 
might be a better name for it, since Pre-existentianism 
likewise implies a kind of creation. Creationism takes as 
its basis the independent, spiritual substantiality of the 
soul, from which it argues that the soul can be produced 
only by creation. Human generation, in as far as it must 
be distinguished from creation, cannot produce anything 
simple. The system further affirms that God gives exist- 
ence to the soul at the very moment when it is to be united 
to the body produced by generation, because it is primarily 
designed to form with that body one human nature. 
Creationism is neither more nor less than an explanation 
of the contents of two Catholic dogmas : the spirituality of 
the soul and the unity of nature in man. The fact that 
Creationism has not always been universally held in the 
Church, must be ascribed to the difficulty of harmonizing 
it with other dogmas, e.g. the transmission of sin, and also 
with certain expressions of Holy Scripture, e.g. that God 
rested on the seventh day. We find it questioned only in 
those times and places in which the controversies on 
Original Sin against the Pelagians were carried on. Doubts 
began to arise in the West, in the time of St. Augustine ; 
two centuries later, when the struggle with Pelagianism 
was at an end, we hear of them no more. 

Combined jjj Creationism solves the question of the origin of 

man fiT* ^6 human soul, but not that of the origin of human nature 
generation, ^y generation, at least not completely. On the contrary, 
it introduces a new difficulty, inasmuch as the creation of 
the soul by God divides the production of man into two 
acts, and makes it more difficult to see how human genera- 
tion is a reproduction and communication of the whole 
nature and especially of life, and how there is a relation of 
dependence between the souls of children and those of 
their parents. This difficulty, much insisted upon by the 
Generationists, can only be removed by maintaining, not 
indeed the production of one soul by another through ema- 

PART I.] Man. 409 

nation or creation, but a certain relation of causality CHAP, v 
whereby the souls of the parents